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Due to potential fire hazards, the city of Loretto will no longer collect batteries for recycling. The battery collection program was through Hennepin County, and they have discontinued their program and ordered cities to discontinue collection. The City is also not allowed to collect them on its own and bring them to Hennepin County facilities.



Why did the county discontinue the battery recycling program?

Due to potential fire hazard, it is no longer safe to collect batteries at community locations. The combination of vape pens/e-cig devices that heat up and rechargeable batteries that are flammable is dangerous. Environment and Energy staff investigated using other types of collection containers to reduce the risk of fires, but currently containers do not exist that would eliminate the potential fire hazard. 


Why discontinue the program, rather than excluding the collection of lithium ion batteries and vape pens in the battery collection bins?

Unfortunately, despite well labeled containers, we find garbage, recyclables, fluorescent light bulbs, mercury devices, sharps and other problem materials in the battery containers. Because vape pens do contain batteries and the heightened awareness of the dangers of vaping, the chance of these devices being placed in collections bins is high. We cannot take this risk in public spaces.


What should I do with my batteries?

The county still accepts batteries at its drop-off facilities in Bloomington and Brooklyn Park and at county household hazardous waste event collections. Find more information about battery recycling at www.hennepin.us/batteryrecycling.


Alkaline batteries (single-use AA, AAA, etc.) do not contain hazardous material and may be placed in the trash. The county accepts alkaline batteries at its drop-off facilities and will recycle them. 


Button batteries, lithium ion and other rechargeable batteries do contain toxic metals and pose a threat if improperly disposed. These batteries should be brought to a county drop-off facility in Bloomington or Brooklyn Park. If you cannot remove the battery from the device, bring the entire device to a Hennepin County drop-off facility. Call2Recycle.org lists additional drop-off sites for rechargeable batteries. These locations will not accept vape pens or damaged lithium batteries.


Important preparation requirements

  • Place batteries in a clear plastic bag OR place clear tape on both the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals of batteries to prevent fires.
  • Bulging or damaged lithium ion batteries should be brought to a drop-off facilities as soon as possible. The should not be placed in any recycling or trash container.