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Safety a priority at Waste and Recycling Centre

​There are more than 35 people employed at the City’s Waste and Recycling Centre and their safety can be at risk when residents improperly dispose of materials. When choosing where to put waste, the community is asked to consider the wellbeing of those managing these materials and always dispose of it in the safest place possible. For those who are unsure of were to dispose materials, the City’s Waste Wizard tool can help, providing a look-up tool and listing the best options for residents.

The landfill has experienced three small fires in the last two weeks, believed to be started by batteries that were likely put into household black carts. In addition to being toxic to the soil, batteries can also be a fire risk in the landfill. Often batteries don’t have enough juice left to provide power to the item they are intended for but do have enough energy to explode when crushed in the garbage disposal process.

Improperly disposing batteries can be extremely dangerous for workers and the community in general. Methane gas released in the landfill can fuel a fire quickly and continue to burn for long periods of time.

In some cases, residents may not realize they are disposing of a battery but lithium-ion batteries are found in many electronic devices, such as laptops, cell phones and power tools.

Batteries should never be put in blue or black carts for pickup. Instead, they can be dropped off at the Waste and Recycling Centre to be recycled with other hazardous materials. They can also be dropped off at several retail locations throughout the city. These locations can be found by searching “batteries” using the Waste Wizard tool at

Compressed Gas, Scrap Metal & Glass
The people working at the City’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) are responsible for sorting the items placed in residents blue carts and those collected at the City’s Recycling Stations. Everyone has a part to play in ensuring their safety by making sure no dangerous materials end up at the MRF.

The MRF uses heavy machinery and equipment to help sort, process and bundle recyclables. When dangerous items like canisters of compressed gas, scrap metal and glass get in the recycling stream, it puts the workers at risk. All of these items have been seen at the MRF and can cause serious cuts and burns to those working in the facility.

Again, residents are encouraged to use the Waste Wizard tool to search up any items they might have questions about or they can call Lethbridge 311 for more information. This important step will help make sure all Waste and Recycling Centre workers get home safely.

For general inquiries contact:

Media Contact:
Steve Rozee
City of Lethbridge
Phone: 403-320-3114