The city of San Francisco and a recycling partner are working to make lithium batteries less dangerous.
Lithium batteries placed in recycling and later taken to plants can actually start fires when they come into contact with other batteries.
The fires and explosions have also ignited on trucks en route to recycling plants, according to officials at Recology.
The lithium batteries can stay charged for three to five years, Jimmy Wilson, a hazmat and battery technician at Recology, told KTVU.
The company is trying to alert people not to recycle the batteries without taping them up first.
People should use non-conductive electrician’s tape such as Duct tape or gaffer tape.
“We have to manage this. We have to protect the environment. We have to protect our recycling infrastructure,” said Recology’s Robert Reed.