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Northampton residents urged to safely dispose of their waste to help prevent fires

Published: Tuesday, 21 July 2020

With warmer weather expected as the summer continues, Veolia and Northampton Borough Council are encouraging the public to safely dispose of their waste to help prevent fires.

Unsafe disposal of hot barbecue coals, batteries and electricals can all result in fires risking the safety of refuse workers and members of the public, especially when mixing with waste that is drier than usual.

While barbecues are not permitted in Northampton parks, improperly disposed of waste including cigarette butts or glass bottles discarded onto the ground - particularly onto the grass - can also be a fire hazard.

This summer, Northampton Borough residents are encouraged to play it safe with waste by checking the council’s website for details of how to correctly dispose of their waste, and ensuring that barbeque coals are fully extinguished before they are thrown away.

Cllr Mike Hallam, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Northampton Borough Council, says: “We urge members of the public to dispose of all hazardous items correctly and apply due care and attention to the safe disposal of barbecues and coals in bins making sure that they are properly cooled and free from heat.

“Simple steps to correctly dispose of household waste is all that is required to prevent fire incidents and the detrimental impact they have on services and local communities.

“Let’s all take responsibility for our own rubbish, whether we are at home or out and about in the town’s parks and streets as each one of us can be the change that we want to see around us and make a difference by behaving responsibly.”

Here’s how to safely dispose of electrical items and hot coals, to prevent them from combusting:

  • Do not put batteries in household recycling and waste bins, boxes or bags.
  • Batteries and small electrical items can be recycled at the kerbside by placing them in clear carrier bags next to your blue-lidded wheelie bin or recycling boxes on your usual collection day. Please note that batteries and electrical items must be placed in separate bags.
  • You can also take batteries or electrical items to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centre, where they will be turned into something new.
  • Hot coals from barbeques: Cover hot coals with sand and water to ensure they are completely cold (usually 2 days) before putting them in the general waste bin or bag.

In January this year, Veolia revealed that only 43% of the public were aware that lithium-ion batteries could cause fires when incorrectly discarded in household bins.

Gavin Graveson, Executive Vice President at Veolia UK and Ireland says: “Items that generate heat and electricity can easily combust in the back of waste vehicles or at our recycling and waste facilities. This is extremely dangerous and can result in fires.

“People also forget that batteries and electrical items can be recycled. We should be doing everything we can to capture these materials to preserve our precious resources and protect the green economy. When residents are unsure of what can and can’t be put in their household recycling and waste bins, they should play it safe and check their Council website.”

For more information on what can and can’t go in your household recycling bin go to www.northampton.gov.uk/recycling