West Oxfordshire District Council is urging everyone to take care about what they put in their rubbish bins after one of their contractor’s vehicles nearly caught fire.
The incident happened yesterday in Witney when the crew saw smoke coming out of the back of the vehicle.
Fortunately their speedy action prevented a fire occurring as they contacted the fire service who doused the contents of the load.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but in the middle of the waste, the crews found mobile phones that could have contributed to the ‘hot spot’.
Cllr Carol Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Environment said, “Thankfully, swift action by our crews and the fire service avoided what could have been a potentially serious incident.
“Finding mobile phones and batteries amongst the waste is a reminder that items such as these should be disposed of safely as they can ignite if they are punctured or compacted causing, or contributing to, bin lorry fires.”
“Householders can recycle used batteries through their recycling collections or at retailers, such as supermarkets, or at council reception points. A small action such as this can make a big difference to preventing a fire hazard.”
“From October, we are expanding our household recycling collection service to include small unwanted electrical items, such as mobile phones and laptops. Up until then, these items can be taken to recycling banks, which can be found in many of the District’s main car parks or to one of the larger Household Waste & Recycling Centre.”
Producing electrical items uses a lot of energy and valuable materials, including precious metals like gold and silver. Electrical equipment can also contain chemicals like lead and mercury. These chemicals can get into the environment and harm people or animals if items are not disposed of carefully.
As part of the recycling process valuable or harmful materials are removed safely and re-used or disposed. Recycling materials such as aluminium from computers saves raw materials and energy.
The ‘crossed out wheelie bin’ symbol found on many electrical items means that they should not be put into normal household rubbish bins.