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Warning after recycling fire caused by highly flammable items

Bridgend County Borough residents are being warned not to put anything which is highly flammable with their kerbside recycling or bin bag collections.

The warning follows a small fire which broke out at the Kier depot in Tondu last night (Tuesday) and was attended by South Wales Fire and Rescue.

The blaze occurred in the depot’s baling machine and was contained by Kier staff before firefighters arrived, causing a delay of more than an hour to operations.

After clearing the damage, the fire was found to have been caused by a number of items which are highly flammable such as butane canisters, gas bottles used for camping stoves, lighters and expanding foam tins.

Thanks to the prompt actions of Kier staff and firefighters, this fire was quickly dealt with before it could become a bigger problem. However, it could have been avoided altogether if these items had not been included with the household recycling.

Once plastics and metals are collected by the crews, they get compressed at the depot into bails for further processing. Items such cooking gas canisters and lighters should never be placed out with regular household recycling as they contain traces of propane or butane, and this creates a dangerous combination once they have been compressed alongside flammable materials.

It is fine to place empty aerosol deodorant cans and other household items such as air fresheners into blue recyclable sacks along with plastics and metals, but lighting devices, cooking and heating gas canisters, aerosol spray paints and industrial aerosol varnishes are not suitable, and should instead be disposed of at one the community recycling centres located in Maesteg, Tythegston and Brynmenyn.

Deputy Leader Hywel Williams