PSI Chapter Supports Study on Recycling-Related Fires
PSI Supports Study on Fires in MRFs, Scrap Plants
The PSI Chapter is working with the Environmental Research & Education Foundation on a study about fires at MRFs and scrap recycling facilities as well as in collection vehicles. PSI is a premier sponsor of the project, contributing $2,000 toward the overall study cost of $34,000, and various PSI members may be selected to participate in the study at the researchers’ discretion.
The study will compile information on the frequency of MRF and scrap recycling fires annually (as a percentage of the total number of facilities), the frequency of collection vehicle fires, the suspected cause(s) of the fires, strategies/technologies used to fight the fires, damage caused by the fires (including property damage, personnel injury/death, or lost operating revenue), preventive measures taken to minimize the potential for fires, and the likelihood of lithium-ion batteries to be discarded at MRFs or scrapyards and their potential to cause fires.
To compile the above information, the researchers will review existing data sources, including but not limited to the U.S. Fire Administration, scientific/technical publications or data sets, and news reports on fire incidents. The researchers also will develop and conduct a fire survey in each of the three subcategories—MRFs, scrapyards, and collection vehicles–to assess the frequency of fires within the past one to three years, their suspected cause(s), strategies used to fight the fires, and damage caused by the fires. The part of the study on lithium-ion batteries will assess their possible contribution to fires in recycling facilities and collection vehicles, including evaluating the disposal- and/or recycling-related labeling on such batteries and the policy and safety concerns of transporting such batteries.
At least four EREF staff will work on this study, including Debra Kantner, data and policy program director; Bryan Staley, president and CEO; and two or more college undergraduate students as research assistants. The project timeline is 10 to 14 months, once fully initiated, with summer 2020 as the preliminary target date for a final report.
For more information on the study, contact Debra Kantner, (919) 861-6876, ext. 107, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fire photograph courtesy of Moein Moradi.