ITHACA, N.Y. — The Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste Center has issued about safe disposal practices after a fire at the Ithaca location earlier this week.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The fire took place mid-afternoon on Monday and was extinguished within the hour by Ithaca Fire Department firefighters. There were no injuries reported. The Department of Recycling and Materials Management said that while a specific reason for the fire has not been determined, it’s possible it was due to “batteries being incorrectly placed in single stream recycling,” as they are prone to overheating.

The department issued guidance stating that alkaline batteries should not be put into a recycling bin, but should instead be put into a container or a bag and added to the trash. For other batteries, terminal ends should be covered in tape and rechargeable batteries can be recycled at retail locations or the Recycling and Solid Waste Center.

The department also thanked the employees of Casella who reacted to the fire and the Ithaca Fire Department for its work. ​Visit for locations to drop-off batteries.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at