Car battery ignites fire in garbage truck

Published: 13 Feb 2020

A car battery incorrectly disposed of in a household rubbish bin has ignited a fire in a JJ Richards garbage truck.

The battery was placed in a kerbside wheelie bin in Calen and ignited the truck within seconds.

Thanks to the quick-thinking truck driver, the fire was extinguished before any serious damage could be caused.

The footage of the fire can be seen on council’s Facebook page.

Cr Laurence Bonaventura said this was the third time in the past couple of months that a garbage truck had been damaged by incorrect waste.

“A JJ Richards recycling truck was completely destroyed by flammable material in December last year,” he said.

“The driver of the truck was lucky to escape without injury.”

“A flare also went off in a garbage truck’s hopper, causing it to alight.”

Cr Bonaventura said it was important that residents made themselves aware of what could and couldn’t be disposed of in their bins.

“Car batteries cannot be placed in either your general waste or recycling wheelie bins,” he said.

“The batteries can easily ‘arc’ when damaged, causing sparks. If paper or other flammable material is present, a fire can start.

“The safety of JJ Richards’ staff is paramount. If residents are unsure about a waste item they need to check council’s website.”

Car batteries can be dropped off for free at the Incredable drop-off at the Paget Waste Management Centre.

Expired flares can be dropped off at the Mackay Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

For more information on waste disposal, visit council’s webpage