Reckless waste disposal causes another truck fire

Another fire has caused a close call in a council waste truck.

Council waste collection contractor JJ Richards reported a fire in a load while servicing bins in the South Mackay area last Thursday (February 4).

Images from inside the truck’s hopper show a partially full fuel container being crushed by the packer arm, causing the fuel to ignite.

This is the second fire for 2021 and the tenth fire in the last 12 months.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the fires were reckless and a danger to our waste truck drivers.

“These fires are occurring too often. The disposal of hazardous waste is common sense,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Items including batteries of all kinds, chemicals, oils, combustibles, paint, asbestos and tyres do not belong in your general waste or recycling bins.

“They must be taken to one of our waste transfer stations or a certified collection point.”

Mayor Williamson said the safety of staff was paramount.

“Thankfully, in this instance, the driver was able to extinguish the fire in the hopper and did not need to dump the load.

“Even more thankfully, he was not injured during the incident,” he said.

Council’s Waste Services team is planning a waste bin audit during 2021 to gauge what key contaminants are and educate those properties where hazardous waste is found.

For more information on where hazardous waste can be disposed, visit www.mackay.qld.gov.au/wastedisposal