image of recycling on fire

Residents reminded about the safe disposal of hazardous waste following Council recycling truck fire

20 Jan 2023

On 23 December 2022, a Council recycling truck was forced to do an emergency unload after the load it was carrying caught fire.

The likely cause of the fire was the incorrect disposal of hazardous waste, such as batteries.

Batteries should never be put in waste and recycling bins, whether they are the standard batteries found in torches and toys or those found in laptops, mobile phones, and power tools. Commonly used lithium batteries will ignite waste and recycling in a truck and have been responsible for several recent fires across the waste industry.

Blue Mountains Mayor, Councillor Mark Greenhill, said he was relieved that no-one was injured and urged residents to be careful about what they put in their waste and recycling bins.

“It was only through the quick actions of the driver and NSW Fire and Rescue that the fire was safely extinguished.

“This is a reminder of the dangers of disposing hazardous chemicals and batteries incorrectly in our waste and recycling bins.

“Please dispose of these things responsibly. They are hazardous waste and can cause a lot of damage if not handled correctly.

“Council provides a range of opportunities for the free and safe disposal of hazardous waste to residents, and I would urge you to make use of these.”

Hazardous waste including batteries, gas bottles, fuel cans, flares, butane canisters, paint, chemicals and products labelled ‘corrosive’, ‘toxic’, ‘flammable’ or ‘oxidising agent’ should never be placed in waste and recycling bins.

These materials can be disposed of several ways, including battery drop-off points at both our waste facilities in Blaxland and Katoomba, and scheduled Chemical Clean-Out Events for household chemicals.

A FREE Household Chemical Cleanout Event is also being held at the Blaxland Waste Management Facility, at Attunga Road, on 24 and 25 February between 9am and 4pm.  This is a household chemical collection only and chemicals from commercial or industrial premises will not be accepted.

More information about our services, and information on the correct way to dispose of waste is available on Council’s Waste website, or by contacting Council’s Customer Service Centre on 4780 5000.

Photo: Contents of Council recycling truck alight. 

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