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Warning after discarded drill causes recycling fire

Bridgend County Borough residents are being warned not to put highly flammable items with the kerbside recycling or bin bag collections.

The warning comes after a small fire broke out in a recycling truck while the crew were on collection duties.

The crew were alerted to the blaze by a loud popping sound and were able to remove the burning items from the truck to control the flames until South Wales Fire and Rescue arrived on scene.

After clearing the damage, the cause of the fire was found to be a discarded power bank as well as a battery-operated drill and battery pack.

The Deputy Leader, Cllr Hywel Williams said: “This fire was quickly dealt with before it became a bigger problem but could have been avoided altogether if these flammable items had not been discarded in the household recycling.

“Batteries and electronics can be extremely dangerous when thrown in with the recycling. They can easily get squashed, compacted, punctured, shredded or soaked in liquids. When this happens, they can ignite, resulting in fires that endanger lives, cause expensive damage and disrupt waste services.

“Damaged batteries are also dangerous as they contain chemicals and materials that can harm the environment if they aren’t recycled responsibly.”

Batteries and small electrical items can be recycled and collected at the kerbside but must be kept separate from your general household recycling.

Batteries, old mobile phones and spectacles can be placed in a clear plastic bag, like a sandwich bag, next to the rest of your recycling.

Broken toasters, kettles, irons, hairdryers and other small electrical items can be recycled by placing them in a separate carrier bag at the kerbside. Anything with a screen, like a laptop or TV, is not suitable for this collection and should be taken to a community recycling centre.

For more information on recycling in Bridgend County Borough, visit the council’s website.