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Preventing Fires in Trash and Recycling Collection Vehicles


Have you ever heard of a "hot load"? It's a term used to describe a truckload of trash or recyclables that catches on fire, smolders, spontaneously combusts, or becomes toxic as a result of incompatible waste mixing in the load-holding compartment of the truck. Unfortunately, hot loads can occur in neighborhoods during trash and recycling collection, resulting in damage to roadways, property, and collection vehicles. Waste Connections of Arizona, for example, has lost two service vehicles in just five days due to the careless disposal of toxic or flammable materials.

What causes hot loads? Improper disposal of hazardous materials, placed into the trash or recycling cart, that are mixed with other waste in the collection vehicle. The combination of incompatible chemicals, such as household bleach and ammonia, can be lethal. Depending on the types of household chemicals, the results can injure workers, family members, neighbors, pets, cause damage to personal property and the environment.

To prevent hot loads from occurring, it is essential to dispose of hazardous materials properly. Household chemicals should be used to the last drop, and leftover products should be labeled and stored for recycling at County Collection Facilities. Never dispose of batteries or vape devices through curbside collection.

Do not place the following Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) in your trash or recycling carts: hot ashes, cigarette paraphernalia, fireworks, hot coals, or wood; motor oil, gasoline, antifreeze, kerosene, or lighter fluid; paint, varnish, pesticides, or other household chemicals; auto batteries, rechargeable NiCad, or Lithium batteries; cooking oil, new or used; or liquid waste of any kind. The disposal of HHW through curbside collection is strictly forbidden and illegal. Offenders will be reported to both state and county agencies for violations, fines, and criminal charges.

If you witness the disposal of HHW in a trash or recycling cart, please report it. Call 480.983.9100, describe what is in the cart, and do not dig through the carts. All reports will remain anonymous and confidential.

Remember, your help is needed to prevent fires ("hot loads") in trash and recycling collection vehicles. By properly disposing of hazardous materials, you can keep your trash collectors and neighborhood safe. Thank you for your help!
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Sunday, 03 March 2024

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