Garbage truck fires in Cleveland prompt action

Garbage truck fires in Cleveland prompt action

Improper disposal of household hazardous waste is a culprit in the fires.

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June 29, 2017
Waste Today Staff
Hauling Special and Hazardous Waste

The Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Solid Waste District and fire officials are warning of the hazards of improper disposal of household hazardous waste after a series of refuse truck fires.

NewsNet5 is reporting that recent garbage truck fires in Cleveland and the suburbs of Parma and Westlake have prompted action to prevent residents from improperly disposing of materials that are flammable or combustible in the regular trash as it poses a risk to collection workers, residents and firefighters.

Items such as paints, petroleum products and cell phone batteries when placed in the trash have the potential spark fires or explosions.

Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District Executive Director Diane Bickett told NewsNet5 the district collects around 400,000 pounds of household hazardous waste annually through proper channels, which includes weekly and monthly collection events. In 2016, Cuyahoga County collected and properly disposed of over a half million pounds of hazardous waste.

According to the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District website, www.cuyahogarecycles.org, “household hazardous waste including pesticides, automotive fluids, mercury and flammables are collected by city service departments. The district partners with the 59 communities in the county to offer local, frequent collection events for disposal of household hazardous wastes (HHW).”

The program is free to all Cuyahoga County households.

In a press release issued in response to the media attention received from the recent truck fires, the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District says, “Rechargeable batteries, pool chemicals and other reactive, flammable materials do not belong in the trash and require special disposal. The recent trash truck fires in Cuyahoga County highlights the need for residents to take advantage of the free household hazardous waste disposal program in their community.”

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District encourages rechargeable batteries (lithium ion, nickel cadmium), found in cell phones, laptops and power tools to be recycled for free at any Call2Recycle drop box. Locations can be found at www.Call2Recycle.org/locator.