FIREFIGHTERS and waste companies are urging people to not put batteries or gas bottles in household bins after a garbage truck fire early on Thursday 5 October.
Bittern CFA was called on to support Crib Point Fire Brigade when a garbage truck caught fire in Crib Point. The Esplanade was blocked to traffic from Disney Street to Stony point Road as firefighters fought the blaze, getting it under control within the hour.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is also calling for responsible disposal of hazardous materials. Dangerous items such as gas bottles and batteries should not be put in household bins and can be disposed of for free at council resource recovery centres.
There have been several garbage truck and resource recovery fires already this year due to batteries or gas bottles being included in household waste.
Data released from the Department of Fire and Emergency Service earlier this year shows that Australia experienced more than 450 lithium linked fires over 18-months.
Solo operations supervisor Franz Meister said dangerous objects such as batteries and vapes entering waste streams increased fire hazards, with the risk increasing with lithium-ion batteries.
“Often people are unaware of the potential risks of their waste, and we’re seeing too many objects enter our waste management streams that simply shouldn’t be there,” Meister said. “As a waste management company servicing over one million bins nationwide a week, we’ve certainly noticed an increase in dangerous items such as vapes and batteries that are huge fire hazards.”
The mayor Cr Steve Holland said there was not only a financial cost to improper waste disposal, but a safety risk to waste collection personnel, recycling teams, and landfill staff.
“The 2023-24 budget has provided funding for several waste initiatives, including an increase in the number of chemical collection days,” he said.
“On top of this, residents can drop off most household hazardous items for free at our resource recovery centres.”