Let’s guard against bin lorry fires!
Release date: 18 September 2015
Cotswold District Council is warning residents to take extra care when deciding what to place in their household waste bins after a vehicle in a neighbouring district caught fire.
The Council’s waste service provider, Ubico Ltd, has noted that a fire occurred in a waste vehicle, operated by Kier, during a collection round in West Oxfordshire. The crew heard an explosion in the back of the vehicle accompanied by flames. Fortunately they took action quickly to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the back of the truck. The fire brigade was summoned and, using thermal imaging, they reported that the fire had been caused during the compacting process when a laptop computer containing four large lithium batteries was crushed.
Cllr Sue Coakley, CDC Cabinet Member for Health, Environment and Communities said: “Thankfully, the crew’s swift action avoided what could have been a potentially serious incident. However, it is a stark reminder of the importance of disposing of electrical goods safely. Please look out for the ‘crossed out wheelie bin’ symbol (pictured above) which is found on many electrical items and makes it clear that they should not be put into normal household rubbish bins.
“Any small electrical items and batteries can be taken to your nearest waste and recycling sites, including Fosse Cross, Pyke Quarry and Shipston, for recycling or safe disposal.”
The manufacture of electrical items involves a significant consumption of energy and the use of valuable materials, including precious metals such as gold and silver. Electrical equipment can also contain chemicals such as lead and mercury. These chemicals can escape into the environment and harm people or animals if electrical items are not disposed of carefully when they are no longer required.
As part of the recycling process, valuable or harmful materials are removed safely and re-used or disposed of. Recycling materials such as aluminium from computers prevents the consumption of more raw materials and energy.