Spotlight on Safety: Customer Service Answers Your Most Popular Questions

Safety is a strategic focus of Call2Recycle during 2017. In this issue, our Customer Service team shares its answers to the most frequently asked safety questions from collection sites and stewards.

Why do I have to bag or tape every battery?

The simple answer is so that your battery shipments comply with US DOT regulations which require that the terminals of select battery types don’t make contact with each other when in transit from your location to the sorting facility. Because battery types are often hard to distinguish, we recommend bagging or taping all batteries. Taping and bagging prevent the batteries from igniting or combusting, which can result in fires, personal injury and other damage.

If I miss protecting some of the batteries, what are the potential consequences?

Our #1 safety goal is to prevent battery terminals from touching and possibly sparking before they are shipped or while they are in transit. We encourage you to bag every battery. Consequences include fires, physical injuries to people before and during the transportation process and damage to the shipper/sorter facilities. Companies that don’t properly protect their batteries may also face fines from the US DOT and suspension and/or expulsion from the Call2Recycle program.

Does my bulk shipment need to have the same protection as my box shipments?

Bulk shipments require the same protection measures as a box shipment, including bagging or taping batteries according to the Call2Recycle shipping guidelines. In fact, the potential consequences of battery ignition/combustion is even greater for bulk shipments because of the sheer number of batteries in a drum and on the pallet.

Why can’t I return a box via air from Alaska/Hawaii/Puerto Rico?

The US DOT places very stringent restrictions on the shipment of certain batteries by air due to safety considerations. Our special box permit doesn’t allow air shipments. If you are located in Alaska/Hawaii/Puerto Rico, you can transport the batteries by truck, rail and boat. Once the batteries reach stateside, Call2Recycle can coordinate the transportation. Please call Customer Service to coordinate these shipments.

Can I use paper, other boxes, towels or other materials to protect the terminals?

Because paper-based products are flammable and can act as kindling, they are not an approved method of insulation.  Please use the bags provided (or tape), place the batteries in permitted containers and avoid using paper or other materials to protect your terminals.

What kind of tape or bags can I use if bags are not available?

If you run out of Call2Recycle bags, we recommend using clear plastic bags and clear non-conductive electrical tape. Packing, duct and electrical tape and clear ziploc bags are also acceptable. Do not use grocery bags or painters/masking tape. Also avoid putting tape over the chemistry type to ensure the label is visible to the sorters. You can contact Customer Service to order more bags if you run out.

Be sure to bookmark our shipping guidelines for answers to specific questions and watch for a new safety portal–coming soon.

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