Discarded vapes are increasingly becoming a fire hazard
Vaporizers and e-cigarettes, also called vapes, which serve as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, are increasingly becoming a fire hazard, warns the Dutch Waste and Cleaning Services Association, De Telegraaf reports.
The vapes consist of electronics, a lithium battery, and a bottle with liquid. In addition, nicotine and a favored flavor are added, such as apple or strawberry flavor. However, with the disposable version of a vape, the bottle can't be refilled with new liquid once you've used it up and the e-cigarette ends up in the trash. However, the lithium battery is also located on the bottle part, which is therefore also unknowingly disposed of.
More and more vapes end up in the trash and are increasingly a fire hazard when it comes to waste recycling. The culprit is the lithium battery, which is highly flammable. Wendy de Wild, director of the Dutch Waste and Cleaning Services Association told De Telegraaf that "The electronic cigarette contains a lithium battery that can easily ignite if it is crushed in a garbage truck or waste processing plant."
This poses a major problem for waste collection services. Because in one month alone, there are three fire incidents in which a garbage truck catches fire due to burning lithium batteries. According to De Wild, there are a total of 150 waste fires per year. Mostly they are caused by batteries from e-cigarettes, she explained. “About 20 vapes are now found in an 'average' garbage truck and I fear that will only increase in the future, ” she told the newspaper.
To avoid these incidents, vapes should be dropped off at appropriate locations, such as the battery garbage can at the supermarket, cigar store, or environmental centers. Emil 't Hart of Esigbond, the interest group for sellers of electronic cigarettes, agrees. “We would prefer to put bins with clear pictures of vapes on them to encourage people to deposit them there after use. But the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority forbids us because they see it as an incentive to smoke it,” he told De Telegraaf. However, he claimed that he is in talks with the waste industry to work on a solution.