Dozens of scooter and their lithium batteries ended up at the bottom of a river in San Jose. Roger Castillo, the self-described “Guardian of the River,” pulled 30 scooters from the Guadalupe River. Castillo says he worries about pollution and what those scooters and their batteries might mean for the fish and wildlife that have been making a comeback in recent years.
Castillo said, “Tesla doesn’t even know what do with these batteries when they catch fire, what are they going to do in the water….” The scooters may be falling prey to vandalism or to people who don’t want them on the streets. Castillo suspects the homeless are going after the scooters for the batteries.
“A good portion of them are being disassembled, thinking they can use the battery to charge their phones or run their music,” he says. Castillo believes there may be some in Coyote Creek. San Jose city staff and creek cleanup partners have observed 37 scooters in the water since December.
In the coming weeks, the city will unveil new e-scooter regulations that will among other things, force companies like “Bird” and “Lime” to fish their scooters from the river, says spokesman Colin Hayne. Hayne said, “We don’t want something like e scooters that are supposed to reduce greenhouse gases, do something that is harmful to the environment.”