Discarded toys containing lithium-ion batteries are believed to have started a blaze at a recycling company in Germany that led to an estimated €600,000 (US$682,000) worth of damage.
Willi Hörger, the owner of the recycling company Hörger in Bächingen, Bavaria, told regional broadcaster BR24 that batteries wrongly discarded along with the toys appeared to have started the blaze, which destroyed a warehouse and at one point was being tackled by around 80 firefighters.
However, no one was injured in the fire, which Hörger said affected an area of around 200m2. “The batteries should not have been disposed of with the toys at such a facility,“ Hörger said.
A damning report released towards the end of last year revealed that more than half of Europe’s used batteries “disappear” without proper treatment because of “outdated” recycling rules and inadequate targets for collecting lithium-ion batteries.
Earlier this year, fire chiefs in Scotland issued a plea for responsible recycling after a lithium-ion battery was suspected of sparking a major blaze at a landfill site in Dunbar.
Batteries & Energy Storage Technology (BEST) magazine’s technical editor, Dr Mike McDonagh, took an in-depth look at the recycling issues facing policymakers and manufacturers in the autumn 2018 edition. To read the article, click here to subscribe to BESTmag.