Pool chemicals cause garbage truck fire

MT. STERLING, Ky. (WTVQ) – A residential garbage truck experienced a load fire around 11 a.m. Friday on Garden Springs Drive in Mt. Sterling. The cause – pool chemicals.

“Placing flammable items in the trash or recycling can endanger our employees, facilities and the motoring public,” said Bridgett Biggs, the safety manager for Rumpke, which handles the trash pickup. “Items like liquids, pool chemicals, charcoal embers, cleaning products, propane tanks and batteries – specifically lithium ion batteries – can cause major issues and are not accepted in Rumpke’s programs.”

Fortunately, the driver spotted the smoldering load in an automated container on the front of the truck before emptying it into the back of the vehicle.

“Our driver followed proper procedure and his quick actions prevented a major incident from occurring,” Biggs said. “We appreciate the quick response and assistance from the Montgomery County Fire EMS.”

Rumpke shared additional safety tips, including:

  • Decrease flammability: Used fireworks and charcoal embers should be soaked in water prior to disposal. This prevents them from reigniting.
  • Check the label: Many household cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals. If the container features a label including “Danger” or “Poison,” it is hazardous waste. Don’t place the item in your trash or recycling container.
  • Research local options: Most solid waste districts offer residents disposal options for household hazardous wastes. Please contact your local solid waste management office for more details.
  • Don’t include: Propane and helium tanks, pool chemicals, batteries, liquids and items marked flammable, combustible or hazardous aren’t accepted and should never be placed in trash or recycling containers.
  • Solidify paint: If disposing of paint, make sure it is completely dried out prior to placing it in the trash. Cat litter is a great way to solidify the material.

For information on what should and shouldn’t be placed in trash or recycling containers, visit www.rumpke.com.

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