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Council warning after batteries spark two tip fires

December 20, 2023 8:15 am in by
Smouldering rubbish in the back of council waste truck (SUPPLIED).

Two recent fires sparked by batteries on the Surf Coast has prompted council to warn locals about the need to properly dispose of the devices.

A collection truck driver was alarmed last week to look through a camera at the rear of the vehicle showing smoke coming from inside the rubbish hopper.

The incident prompting a diversion to the Anglesea tip with the truck under escort by the Country Fire Authority (CFA), where council landfill staff helped expose and extinguish the source of the smoke, which was a smouldering battery.

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That incident followed another emergency at the tip the week before when a passer-by saw smoke coming the site after hourst and raised the alarm.

Council staff and CFA crews spent several hours using an excavator to pull apart hard rubbish that was 25 metres wide and long.

The incident was deemed so worrying it resulted in eight CFA vehicles turning up from Anglesea, Torquay and Aireys Inlet, with support from Fire Rescue Victoria.

“Hazardous items like batteries in general waste bins can cause fires in collection trucks or landfill, putting drivers and staff at risk. A fire at our landfill site could also potentially spread to surrounding bushland and put nearby communities at risk.

Councillor Kate Gazzard says the two fires serve as a warning for people to not put batteries in their waste bins

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“Hazardous items like batteries in general waste bins can cause fires in collection trucks or landfill, putting drivers and staff at risk,” she said.

“A fire at our landfill site could also potentially spread to surrounding bushland and put nearby communities at risk.”

The Victorian Government banned e-waste including batteries from landfills in 2019, however households and businesses can dispose of batteries for free at the Anglesea, Lorne and Winchelsea waste transfer stations, including car and marine.

Smaller AAA, AA, C, D and nine-volt batteries can be dropped off for free at council shire building in Torquay, there are also battery recycling and drop off points at local post offices and big retailers.

Find a full list of battery recycling locations across the Surf Coast Shire here.

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