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After banned items explode, Teton recyclers ask residents to do better

JACKSON (WNE) — After suffering both a fire and a bear spray canister explosion, Teton County Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling is asking the public to do a better job properly disposing of batteries and canisters.

“Please remember the human element of recycling and trash in Teton County,” a press release said. “Recycling Center staff work very closely with every piece of material that comes to the facility, and some can be very dangerous.”

Batteries and bear spray are banned from the landfill and should be brought to the Teton County Recycling Center at 3270 S. Adams Canyon Road.

If they are not — or end up in the wrong bins — the results can be dangerous.

Lithium batteries, the press release warned, “pose an extreme fire risk when exposed to water, heat, or pressure.”

Recently, they may have caused a fire at the Trash Transfer Station that was extinguished and reignited hours later. Another time, batteries were found in office paper recycling, but caught before moving further down the recycling stream where they could have caused fire or damage.

A bear spray canister mistakenly placed into the glass bin at the Recycling Center was punctured recently, causing the center to pause operations and send two staff members home.