January 1, 2017
a row of four batteries

Transportation of damaged, defective and/or recalled lithium batteries has long been an area of concern for the waste industry. US Ecology is constantly updating its procedures in order to ensure its customers stay in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations. Once a battery/cell has been categorized as damaged, US Ecology then follows strict and specific guidelines in order to transport and dispose of the waste. Lithium batteries/cells are considered damaged, defective and/or recalled when:  

  • batteries are bent, deformed, cracked, and/or are leaking
  • there is evidence of a short circuit or malfunction, including melted parts, scorching, or if the battery/cell is extraordinarily warm or hot
  • a recall notice has been given for safety reasons due to a potential short circuit, overheating or risk of fire.  

Once damaged, the battery/cell should be shipped by an approved carrier to a permitted facility for recycling and disposal services. In addition to general packaging and shipping requirements, lithium battery/cell packaging should take the following into consideration:  

  • Batteries/cells should be individually packed in non-metallic inner packagings.
  • As a best practice, the inner packagings containing the batteries must be topped off with a non-combustible and non-conductive fluid, such as mineral oil.
  • Only one inner packaging (i.e. battery/cell) may be placed in each packaging group per one outer packaging (e.g. one battery per outer packaging).
  • Authorized outer packagings include: 4A, 4B, 4N, 4C1, 4C2, 4D, 4F, 1A2, 1B2, 1N2, 1D, or 1H2
  • Each inner packaging should be surrounded by a cushioning material that is non-combustible, non-conductive, and absorbent (e.g. vermiculite).
  • The outer packaging should be marked (in addition to normal marking and labeling requirements) as appropriate that it contains: “Damaged/Defective lithium ion battery” or “Damaged/Defective lithium metal battery”  

US Ecology offers many solutions for lithium battery transportation, recycling and disposal. Please click here or call (800) 592-5489 for further information on these and other services.