QLDC reminds residents to dispose of hazardous waste safely
With the holiday season nearly upon us, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) would like to remind people to never put hot ashes, fireworks or batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries, in recycling or rubbish bins.
These items pose a significant safety risk for our waste services, facilities and the people operating them. They have caused multiple fires in rubbish trucks, landfills and recycling centres in New Zealand and around the world.
Locally, there have been two minor fires at the Wakatipu Transfer Station, one at the Wakatipu Recycling Centre, and one at the Victoria Flats landfill in the past two months, caused by lithium-ion batteries and hot ashes in household rubbish. Fortunately, these fires were dealt with swiftly and extinguished without causing significant damage.
QLDC General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby said unsafe disposal of hazardous waste can cause significant damage and disruption to our facilities and operations and can be harmful to the environment.
“We’re asking that people think carefully about how they’re disposing of hazardous waste. Old batteries, fireworks and hot ashes should never go into your rubbish or recycling bin as it can put our staff, community and environment at risk of serious harm,” he said.
“If you’re ever unsure, give us a call or ask our transfer station operators for advice on safe disposal.”
Lithium-ion batteries can be found in cell phones, laptops, wireless headphones, cordless tools, electric bike batteries and other rechargeable items and are normally marked Li-ion.
Lithium-ion batteries can be recycled at the Wakatipu Recycling Centre in Queenstown or at Wastebusters in Wanaka.