US Federal data on recycling safety, shows the injury rate in the waste and recycling industry fell in 2021, reaching its lowest point since 2006. US Labor Statistics reveal that the injury and illness rate fell from 3.4 incidents per 100 full-time employees, to 2.2 incidents in 2021. Industry commentators feel these numbers reflect an historic improvement in worker safety in the solid waste industry.’
Definitive data for recycling is not available for Australia. However, the impact of COVID lockdowns has seen a significant overall reduction in workplace injury. More frequent reports of garbage trucks having to dump loads on suburban streets because of fires inside the truck is too regular an occurrence. Many observers believe that batteries are the major cause. Batteries ignite due to exposure to excess moisture, over-heating, damage, or a short circuit.
Safety a priority
Importantly, with the need to ensure safety, Ecocycle and its subsidiary Ecobatt, have invested in state-of-the-art safety and protection systems. This ensures all types of batteries from industrial, automotive, and portable batteries can be safely transported. In a recent article in Waste Management Review (November 2022) Director Doug Rowe outlined the company’s substantial commitment to safety. Safety features include thermal cameras, sprinkler systems, sand boxes, thermal runaway containment boxes and aerosol suppression equipment. All are in place at Ecobatt’s collection and distribution facilities.
Collection cabinets include a built in GPS system and sensor monitor to measure how quickly bins are filling. This is supported by an inbuilt heat detector, that indicates if a battery is distressed. All this is driven by the latest software technology. Collection trucks have an aerosol system that detects heat and then extinguishes fire, providing added safety to the driver. The new cabinet rollout and safety system cost nearly $9.5 million dollars. It represents world best practice in the collection of batteries.
Clearly with over 4,900 collection units around Australia for the recycling of batteries there is no need to place them in general rubbish bins causing potential problems with fires. Obviously, the solution is Ecobatt, the right source for recycling batteries.