The number of lithium-ion batteries entering waste and recycling streams will not allow us to put our guard down. The epidemic we face is shared globally.
The number of reported waste and recycling facility fires that occurred in the U.S. and Canada in January 2020 totaled 22.
During the past 12 months, the waste and recycling industry has experienced 338 reported facility fires in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, we incurred 48 reported injuries and four deaths that can be directly or indirectly attributed to these fire incidents.
Based on reasonable assumptions, we can extrapolate that 1,800-plus facility ﬁres have occurred during that time, which, based on the number of facilities reported by the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), is more than 40 percent of the industry. I define “reported facility fires” as any fire that has been reported by the media that occurs at a waste or recycling facility in the U.S. and Canada. Typically, the fires that are reported by the media are larger fires that require fire professionals to arrive on scene and where there are affects that the public can witness.