News Release
September 19, 2023

Fires in Garbage Trucks and Waste Processing Facilities are on the Rise.
LCSWMA pleads with public to properly dispose of rechargeable batteries.

LANCASTER (Lancaster County, PA) – Rechargeable batteries containing metals such as lithium and
nickel, can spark and explode when damaged. To combat the growing risk of battery fires, the Lancaster
County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) announces the launch of a public education
campaign to encourage proper disposal of rechargeable batteries.
“The waste industry is facing a crisis,” Robert Zorbaugh, Chief Executive Officer of LCSWMA said. “The
improper disposal of rechargeable batteries is putting trash haulers; waste disposal and recycling
facilities; employees; and the community at risk. Countless fires have started in the back of trash trucks
and at our waste disposal facilities. We want to do everything possible to keep the waste management
system operating safely in our community,” he added.
Rechargeable batteries are in many common household items including power tools, toys, cellphones,
laptops, watches, vape devices, electric toothbrushes and more. If the rechargeable battery becomes
damaged, it can cause a chemical reaction that creates a spark or explosion. Rechargeable batteries in
the waste stream are prone to damage due to the impact from equipment and machinery during the
waste management process.
“We want the community to know that there are many free and convenient drop-off locations for end-
of-life rechargeable batteries,” Karen Gross, Communications Manager, said. “In Lancaster County,
residents can use LCSWMA’s drive-through Household Hazardous Waste Facility to drop-off both
alkaline and rechargeable batteries. If our facility isn’t a convenient option or if residents live outside
Lancaster County, they can visit for other collection points.

Our message is clear: DO NOT store end-of-life rechargeable batteries and NEVER place them in the trash or recycling
bins,” Gross added.
For more information, visit The webpage, available in English and
Spanish, includes information regarding specialty batteries such as e-bike and electric vehicle batteries
as well as battery handling tips.

# # #

LCSWMA is a regional government authority, recognized nationally for its leadership in the solid waste
industry and its innovative Integrated System that includes: (1) a Transfer Station permitted to handle
up to 2,200 tons per day; (2) a 1,200 tons per day mass burn Waste-to-Energy Facility in Lancaster and
800 tons per day mass burn Waste-to-Energy Facility in Harrisburg for the combustion of waste and
production of electricity; (3) the Frey Farm Landfill, permitted for disposal of 3,000 tons of waste per
day; (4) a county-wide recycling program; and (5) drive-through Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
Visit to learn more.

Here is the link to the official campaign webpage: