Bin lorry fire highlights dangers of flammable waste

7 October 2022

The importance of not disposing of flammable materials as part of household waste has been highlighted, after a fire broke out in the back of a Thurrock Council waste lorry yesterday (Thursday 6 October).

Following this incident, the council is asking residents to be careful not to put highly flammable items such as gas cylinders or batteries in their bins.

Cllr Andrew Jefferies, Cabinet member for Environment, said: "The fire service had to be called to assist after waste in the back of one of our lorries caught alight as crews were making their collection rounds.

"Thankfully, firefighters were able to quickly douse the flames and our emergency procedures for off-loading waste following a fire meant the incident did not escalate and none of the waste crew were injured, but this could easily have had tragic consequences.

"Fires in waste collection vehicles put our crews in danger, and if they take hold, could easily spread to other vehicles or nearby properties.

"But the greatest risk is that a fire like this could break out at any time in a bin and quickly spread to nearby buildings, putting people and property in danger. It is vital that everyone takes care to keep their families and neighbours safe from the risks posed by accidental bin fires.

"I would ask residents not to put flammable items like batteries, gas bottles or cylinders in their bin and to instead dispose of them properly at recycling points or at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre."

The best way to dispose of batteries is by using the battery recycling boxes at Thurrock libraries and some local shops and supermarkets. Gas bottles and cylinders should be disposed of according to the instructions on them. Most can be returned to the manufacturer to be recycled, with contact details printed on the cylinder.

More information about the correct ways to dispose of items of waste can be found at;