Garbage truck at Tea Gardens caught fire after explosion in it’s load

UPDATE: More information around recycling aerosol cans

An unfortunate incident occurred last week, as reported, when a recycling truck’s load caught alight at Tea Gardens.

While the quick thinking of the driver ensured the incident was minor it has prompted a reminder from Midcoast Waste Services about what can and cannot be placed in your recycling bin.

Aerosol cans are one of those items that can be confusing; however they can be recycled in our region in just a few easy steps:

Make sure the can is completely empty.

Remove any plastic parts like lids.

Place it loose into your yellow lidded bin along with your other recycling.

While aerosols can be safely recycled if a can isn’t completely empty it should not be placed in any of your kerbside bins and is best taken to the Tea Gardens Landfill and Recycling Centre.

Midcoast Waste Services Education Officer Erin Masters
Midcoast Waste Services Education Officer Erin Masters

Gas bottles and Butane gas canisters should also not be placed in any of your bins as they can be an ignition source and cause a significant health and safety risk to drivers and sorting staff.

Therefore they should be taken to the Landfill and Recycling Centre.

Midcoast Waste Services Education Officer Erin Masters said, “Residents recycling aerosol cans helps save energy and resources, reduces climate change gases and reduces the amount of waste going to landfill and it’s something everyone can do to help the environment.”

The driver of a recycling collection truck had the fright of his life on Tuesday morning this week, while driving on Myall Street Tea Gardens.Truck at Tea Gardens caught fire

As the truck approached the Myall Quays Shopping Centre, a loud explosion occured.

This followed with a huge plume of smoke and then large flames from the truck.

Thinking quickly, the driver spotted the open area carpark of the skate park and managed to drive in and empty his burning load of recycling onto the ground.

The driver then was able to move the truck to a safe position away from the fire.truck on fire

Tea Gardens Fire and Rescue were on the scene quickly and proceeded to extinguish the fire using breathing apparatus due to the possible toxic nature of the fuel.

As they worked, many aerosol cans could be heard exploding from the heat.

An excavator also arrived on the scene to assist and to help investigate what actually caused the initial explosion.

It’s believed the fire within the truck was caused by an explosion of an aerosol (or similar) can.

Recycling should not include aerosol cans or gas bottles.

The mixture with paper and other flammable materials could easily cause such an incident.

Craig Shelton from Tea Gardens Fire and Rescue said, “The quick thinking of the driver and the location have prevented what could have been a major incident.”Truck at Tea Gardens caught fire2

“It just shows that people do not sort their waste and not only put lives at risk but caused the use of emergency services due to carelessness.”

This incident should serve as a glowing display as what does not go into your recycling bin and the possible consequences.

If you are unsure what to put into a recycling bin please contact Great Lakes Council or JR Richards Waste.

These organisations will be only too happy to help with information regarding your waste obligations.

JR Richard Recycling

JR Richards

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