MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling has decided to stop accepting batteries in its recycling.

Alkaline batteries may be discarded in the garbage company’s black garbage carts. Rechargeable batteries, lithium batteries and other items such as vaping devices and cellphones are prohibited.

Officials say they are ending the collection for the safety of all involved.

Hennepin County recently discontinued its battery collection program at county buildings, libraries, schools and community centers, because of a fire caused by a discarded vaping device.

Batteries have been responsible for fires in collection vehicles and facilities “around the country at increasing rates.” This is because the quantity of batteries has increased, while battery casings have become thinner to make devices lighter – leading to an increased risk of fire.

To help prevent fires, you can place each battery individually in a clear plastic bag, or put clear tape on the positive and negative terminals.

Hennepin County will accept batteries at permanent drop-off locations in Bloomington and Brooklyn Park; as well as at hazardous waste drop-off events during the spring and summer. Click here for a list of other retail drop-off sites.