State Rep. Josh Siegel announced his legislation that would create a battery stewardship program to encourage safer disposal of batteries has passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “When many in our commonwealth are done with a battery of any kind, they often throw it away in their recycling bins,” Siegel said. “What happens then is it will eventually end up at a recycling facility or other facilities and buildings that store these disposable lithium-ion batteries. Over the past few years, there have been fires at a state-of-the-art recycling facility in York County causing millions of dollars in damage due to these batteries combusting. More recently, a fire erupted at a barn storing these batteries in Lancaster County causing extensive damage.” Siegel noted that lithium-ion batteries can burn at 1,000 degrees, while normal fires burn at 600 to 700 degrees.

House Bill 2241 would require makers of small and medium-size batteries to take part in a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection-approved plan that protects the environment and reduces fire risks at waste or recycling facilities. This stewardship plan would reduce battery user confusion over proper disposal by offering free and convenient return of used batteries at collection events and drop-off sites to keep them out of the regular waste stream.

Siegel said that this bill does not apply to larger batteries which are not normally disposed of by consumers, such as those used in electric vehicles or for storing solar power. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

For more information, visit https://www.pahouse.com/NorthEastDelegation.
Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

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