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Summer Fires - Don't Cause A Bincident!

Published: 27th June 2023

Fires within waste containers, collection vehicles, and processing facilities pose a perennial risk for the recycling and waste management sector but the incidence of more significant waste fires tends to increase during the summer months when waste material is dry and when additional seasonal sources of ignition are present.

Fires are typically caused by flammable, hot or explosive items present in residual waste or dry recycling and while the industry invests heavily in systems and processes to mitigate, detect and supress fires, the risks are more effectively reduced by ensuring dangerous items are disposed of correctly, mostly by services offered by Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Items typically responsible for waste fires include:

  • Batteries
  • Flammable liquids – such as petrol, lighter fluid and spirits
  • Compressed gas canisters – such as patio or campaign gas, aerosols and nitrous oxide
  • Vape devices
  • Barbecue or firepit ashes

Additionally, a national YouGov poll commissioned by the ESA in May 2023 found that most consumers lack confidence about how to safely dispose of many of the items listed above, which likely contributes to them being discarded improperly.

Batteries and electronic equipment can be recycled at any Supermarket or Electronics Retailer. Just bring them with you on your next visit or recycle them through your local HRRC site.