July 29, 2021

Cayman: Batteries remain suspected culprits for landfill fires

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During the months of April and May 2021 the George Town Landfill has experienced three small fires.

These fires started within the surface in recently tipped waste – therefore it was likely contained within a load brought to the landfill. Whilst no source has been identified in each case, the issue of batteries in the waste remains a present risk and high likelihood of being the culprit.

“We have been ramping up our messages to help the community better understand the risks of improperly disposing batteries and the hazardous results this can cause. Our team working the landfill are our brothers and sisters and we urge the public to help us ensure their safety while they go about their jobs,” said Michael Haworth, Assistant Director – Solid Waste, DEH.

Thanks to the quick actions of the team at the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) along with the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS) these were quickly isolated and extinguished but the threat to safety remains particularly if persons do not dispose of their batteries correctly

DEH aims to provide communities on all three islands with the knowledge they need to create best practices at home for disposing of batteries.

For more on Battery Recycling Resources visit: www.deh.gov.ky under Recycling to access full list.

The attached guide is meant to help the public know what types of batteries they are using and how to properly recycle or dispose of them.

To learn more about how batteries catch fire watch: Mythbusters: Will Crushing a Lithium Battery Start a Firehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGYX9mkGLF8

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