Beverley NewsCouncil News

Discarded battery likely to have started bin lorry fire

Residents in the East Riding are being urged not to put batteries, e-cigarettes or barbecue coals in their bins after a fire in a waste lorry.

A refuse crew from East Riding of Yorkshire Council was halfway through its blue bin collection round in Leven, last month when the load in the back of its truck began smoking.

The quick-thinking crew drove the vehicle to a safe place away from residents, the car park at Leven Sports Hall, and called firefighters to deal with the fire.

Although the cause isn’t known right now, it is being blamed on batteries or a battery-powered vape coming into contact with the lorry or other waste, or – because of the hot weather – barbecue coals that were still smouldering, which had been placed in a blue bin.

Thankfully no one was injured. The lorry suffered slight damage as firefighters had to cut a hole in the side of the vehicle in order to reach the fire and extinguish it.

The fire destroyed all the recycling that had been collected on the round so far. A second bin lorry was called out to continue the rest of the collection round.

The incident has sparked another plea to residents from the council’s waste and recycling team never to place batteries, vapes or coals of any kind in their household bins in a bid to prevent further incidents.

Carl Skelton, the council’s acting director of streetscene services, said: “I want to thank this waste crew for their extremely quick actions which prevented a much bigger fire from happening.

“But our crews should never have to deal with a situation like this. This is what happens when batteries, vapes or coals get casually thrown into a household bin.

“Residents in the East Riding are normally fantastic at recycling, but I’d urge them to please take extra care with items of this nature and to make sure they recycle or dispose of them responsibly.”

The incident came soon after a fire was caused at a waste transfer station used by the council in Hull – again thought to be caused by batteries in waste coming into contact with machinery.

The council has previously issued a number of appeals to residents because of similar fires.

Batteries can be recycled by taking them to:

● Household waste recycling sites: All 10 sites in the East Riding have dedicated battery bins that can take all types.

● Local shops and supermarkets: Most stores that sell batteries will have a battery recycling point or container which residents can put their used ones into.

All batteries of any size can be recycled, from small watch batteries to those used in remote controls, from mobile phone batteries to large torch batteries, even rechargeable batteries and power packs that have come to the end of their life.

Household waste recycling sites also accept batteries from cars and motorcycles, and also old e-cigarettes/vapes and their batteries, so they can be recycled properly and safely.

Barbecue coals and disposable barbecues can be disposed of by taking them to household waste recycling sites

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