A fire at a US recycling centre is thought to have been started by an improperly discarded lithium-ion battery.
The fire is thought to have begun in the drum feeder where recyclable materials, that may be stuck together, are separated and placed uniformly onto the processing line.
The fire at Kent County Recycling & Education Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan happened on the afternoon of 21 January.
Kent County Public Works director Darwin Baas told BEST the fire was most likely caused by a lithium battery that should not have been placed in the recycling.
He said: “Lithium batteries are reactive and can start a fire if shorted out or inadvertently broken apart by processing equipment. We’ve seen enough fires to determine that it was a battery and not another source of ignition.
“Due to the extensive fire damage we were unable to locate the battery in the fire debris.
“We’re still reviewing security cameral footage but reports are that flames were to the ceiling and the smoke had completely blanketed the tipping hall.”
The Grand Rapids Fire Department used more than 9,000 gallons of fire suppression water on the fire to knock it down.
The drum feeder sustained significant heat and water damage and will likely require replacement.