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Minneapolis ends residential battery recycling amid fire concerns

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Citing a potential for fire hazards, Minneapolis officials said Tuesday that batteries will no longer be accepted in recycling picked up from residential properties, effective immediately.

Rechargeable batteries, lithium batteries and items containing batteries, such as electronic cigarettes and cellphones, are no longer allowed in city garbage and recycling carts, the city’s solid waste and recycling office said. 

Alkaline batteries, including single-use AAA and AA sizes, can be thrown in the residential garbage carts. 

The move comes a few weeks after Hennepin County ended battery recycling at city and county buildings, libraries, schools, and community centers after an active vaping pen started smoldering in one battery recycling receptacle, forcing the Westonka Library in Mound to call the fire department.

Minneapolis and Hennepin County residents can recycle batteries at permanent drop-off locations in Bloomington and Brooklyn Park. Those locations will also accept batteries at hazardous waste drop-off events located around Minneapolis in the spring, summer and fall.