LOS BANOS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Batteries not disposed of properly can lead to dangerous fires. This is why Los Banos is hosting an event to get rid of them properly.

The Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority is hosting a Household Hazardous Waste event in partnership with the City of Los Banos community clean-up on Saturday, September 17 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds located at 403 F. Street in Los Banos. This event is only open to residents and businesses of Los Banos County.

There is no cost for residents within Merced County to bring household hazardous waste to the event but a discounted rate will apply to businesses. Before bringing items, residents can call Clean Harbors at (916) 396-1505 to identify what and how much will be dropped off. It’s important to note that per California transportation regulations, there are limitations on how much waste can be brought at one time.

Recycling batteries is a top priority for Waste Management as several fires at the Billy Wright Landfill seem to have been caused by batteries that were improperly thrown away in house trash bins.

Batteries are considered hazardous waste as they are prone to catching fire and should never be thrown into garbage containers or recycling bins. Lithium-ion batteries, like those found in phones, laptops, tablets, power tools drones, scooters, and hoverboards are hazardous.

Batteries can be disposed of for free at the landfill, at Household Hazardous Waste events, or at Home Depot.

Household hazardous waste is defined by Merced County Regional Waste Authority as any household product that contains ingredients that are corrosive, reactive, flammable, and/or toxic. Some examples are ammonia-based cleaners, fluorescent tubes, car batteries, paint, or used motor oil.

For more information on household hazardous waste, or what quantities will be accepted, visit www.mcrwma.org/31/Household-Hazardous-Waste.