Truck fire: Why putting the wrong things in your bin is dangerous

27SEPTEMBER2018
A fire in the back of a recycling truck as it made collections in Aubin Grove on 21 September is proof of how dangerous putting the wrong things in your bin can be.
 
But it also showed how generous our community is when someone is in need of help.
 
Two neighbours immediately offered their garden hoses and water supply to help put out the fire when the City’s driver acted to dump his smoking truck’s load of flammable recycling at Durango Park at 1pm.
 
Waste Collection Coordinator Mickey Danilov said the driver noticed smoke coming from the back of his recycling truck and took quick action to dump the load at a deserted park to avert disaster.
 
“The driver notified me on the two-way and I called Success Fire Station, our other waste trucks in the area, and parks verge crews with their front end loader, who attended to help put the fire out,” Mr Danilov said.
 
“Two residents came out straight away to offer their garden hoses to our driver, and followed directions to stay on their front lawns out of harm’s way. The brigade called the local school to warn of the smoke danger.
 
“It just goes to show what a great community we have, with people willing to go out of their way to help out in a tricky, possibly dangerous situation.”  
 
Mr Danilov said while he could not be certain about what caused the fire, the load included a lot of aerosol cans, which could be flammable when punctured if residue remained inside.
 
“The general cause of fires in our waste trucks is aerosol cans, lithium batteries and pool chemicals. There were a lot of cans in this load,” Mr Danilov said.
 
“In the six years that I have been with Cockburn, there have been five truck fires; two in a recycling truck and three in a waste truck.”
 
Aerosol cans, batteries and chemicals, like all hazardous waste, should not go in kerbside bins, which contain a lot of flammable items.
 
All hazardous items should be dropped off at local collection points or at the specialised Hazardous Household Waste unit at Henderson Waste Recovery Park (HWRP).
 
Mr Danilov said once the fire brigade deemed the dumped load safe, it was collected in a rear loading truck and taken to HWRP.
 
The affected section of Durango Reserve is currently fenced off and cannot be used due to residual glass. The damaged grass will be replaced in the next two weeks.
 
For a list of hazardous domestic waste and how to dispose of it correctly, visit the Hazardous Waste pages on the City's website.  
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