Recycling truck catches fire after laptop battery is misplaced in Bucks

A recycling truck in Bucks was set alight after a laptop was included in a resident’s collection pile.

By James Lowson
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 11:35 am
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2022, 11:36 am

While a truck was doing its rounds in Amersham last week, its recycling started to burn while the vehicle was on the move.

Luckily the quick-thinking crew spotted the fire and acted promptly to contain it, Bucks Council reports.

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The laptop in question

Bucks Fire and Rescue responders were quickly on the scene after the blaze was reported.

Once the vehicle was deemed safe and fully extinguished, council workers returned the truck to the depot.

The contents of the truck were tipped out and monitored to ensure no further fires broke out.

the contents of the truck

Council officials discovered that the cause of the fire was a laptop and battery, which had been placed in a recycling bin for collection.

Bucks Council reports that no-one was hurt during the incident and the vehicle wasn’t significantly damaged.

Councillor Gareth Williams said: “I know it can sometimes be confusing when it comes to recycling but please remember, not everything can go straight into your kerbside recycling bin.

“We really appreciate the efforts so many of our residents go to when it comes to recycling as much as possible, including electrical items. However, it is vitally important that what we recycle is disposed of in the right way to avoid dangerous incidents like this from happening again.

"While unwanted batteries and small electrical items can be recycled, it’s vital that they are not put into general waste or recycling bins as they can easily ignite and cause a fire.”

In Bucks, batteries can be recycled at the kerbside if placed inside a standard carrier bag and left on top of the recycling bin.

Small electrical items (broadly categorised as anything with a plug, battery or charger) should be taken to a local household recycling centre.

Bucks Council lists the following examples:

Hair dryers Hair straighteners Electric toothbrushes Games controllers Mobile phones and chargers Small electrical power tools

If an electrical item is larger than a shoe box (for example, microwave ovens and car batteries) it will need to be taken to a local Household Recycling Centre, Bucks Council adds.

More information is available on the Recycle for Buckinghamshire website.