How To Properly Dispose of a Hoverboard

Fire safety experts said consumers should not toss their hoverboards in the trash can

Some parents may be second-guessing their decisions to buy hoverboards for their kids following an increase in reports of potential fire hazards and a federal investigation of the trendy toys.

Sandra Pendzinski of North Aurora said she thought she’d be the “cool mom” and buy a hoverboard as a Christmas gift for her daughter, Chloe.  Soon after, reports surfaced showing a growing number of fires allegedly caused by hoverboard batteries.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has received dozens of reports of hoverboard-related fires from across the country. Fire safety experts said lithium ion batteries, the type found in many hoverboards, could short circuit if they are overcharged.

Pendzinski had yet to give the gift to Chloe when she decided to break the news to her daughter.

“I said, ‘I bought you what I think is an exciting gift for Christmas, but I have to take it back,’” Pendzinski recalled.

Seventh-grader Chloe said she was disappointed at first but understood her mother’s concerns.

“I don’t want my house to burn down just because of one little toy that I wanted,” Chloe said.
Pendzinski said she tried returning the hoverboard, but the seller told her she would owe a 15 percent restocking fee.  Pendzinski said the fee, plus shipping, would cost her around $100 to receive a partial refund of the hundreds of dollars she spent.

“It’s upsetting because I feel I’ve not received the response back from them to try to satisfy as a customer,” Pendzinski said.

NBC 5 Responds sent several emails seeking comment from Hoverboard 360, which sold Pendsinzki the hoverboard. However, the emails were not returned.

NBC 5 Responds viewer, Marsha, wrote, “We’ve heard numerous reports of the dangers of hoverboards, but no one is telling us how to dispose of them!”

If returning a hoverboard is out of the question, consumers could choose to recycle it.

Fire safety experts said consumers should not toss their hoverboards in the trash can. 

Recyclers told NBC 5 Responds the proper way to dispose of a hoverboard  is to remove the battery and to tape up the terminals to prevent an electrical arc. Consumers can contact their municipal public works department or the nearest city or county electronics recycling location to see if they will accept the taped-up batteries.

Marsha later wrote back and said she successfully turned in the battery.

Consumers can contact the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County and the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County for more information.

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