Gilbert trying to prevent more garbage truck fires

Hazardous supplies like family cleaners, batteries, and paint are what the city says has precipitated 4 garbage truck fires to date in 2022.

GILBERT, Ariz. — It’s stuff that you simply won’t suppose twice about throwing away that the Town of Gilbert says is main to garbage truck fires.

Four garbage vehicles in Gilbert have caught hearth to date this year and the city is now asking individuals to double verify what’s getting thrown away of their bins to assist hold it from taking place once more.

Chemical reactions

In 2021, the Town of Gilbert mentioned it had a complete of 5 garbage truck fires.

“It’s not something that happens a lot, but when it does happen it’s kind of a big deal,” mentioned Mark Justus, deputy chief of coaching at Gilbert Fire Department.

Justus believes the fires are brought on by what’s getting thrown away.

Chemicals, batteries, paint and more are inflicting issues to combine within the garbage truck and catch hearth.

“When your stuff combines with your neighbor stuff that could have a chemical reaction and cause tremendous amount of damage,” mentioned Paul Montes, the city’s environmental providers supervisor.

Gilbert garbage vehicles are choosing up between 500 and 600 bins earlier than dropping their load and going out for more.

It’s the chemical compounds from these totally different bins which are mixing and may trigger fires.

“It puts our operators in danger,” Montes mentioned.

Fighting the fires

When these fires occur, the garbage truck operators have to discover a protected spot to dump out their total load.

“It’s safer to be out on the roadway than it is in the truck,” Montes mentioned.

But that additional oxygen can gasoline the fireplace.

“The chemicals that are in there, the dangers that are associated, we don’t even want to expose the citizens in the community to that stuff as it off-gasses while we put it out,” Justus mentioned.

Overfilled bins could cause fires too

The Town of Gilbert is now asking individuals to give ashes 24 hours to quiet down. Once they’re cool, they need to be bagged and tied earlier than being put into trash cans. If fireworks are being thrown away, the city mentioned they need to be soaked in a single day earlier than being positioned into the trash can, additionally bagged and tied.

Another downside that may occur is overfilled trash bins could cause fires too.

“When your cans are overfilled, the lid’s open, a lot of that stuff tends to fall out on top of our engine, right behind the cab of the truck. And that material could catch on fire just from the heat of the engine itself,” Montes mentioned.

Dispose of hazardous objects correctly

Items like batteries, fuels, fluids, chemical compounds, cleaners, cooking oil and more all shouldn’t be put into trash bins.

“If it’s not a natural, organic-occurring thing: food, waste, paper, there’s probably a better location for it,” Justus mentioned. “And it’s probably not in the trash.”

Gilbert does have a spot to take all hazardous objects at no cost, known as the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, close to Greenfield and Queen Creek roads.

That facility accepts issues that may’t be put into trash cans. A full record of what can and may’t be accepted is on the website. The facility is just open to Gilbert residents.

Municipal family hazardous waste disposal choices are additionally out there in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Glendale, Peoria, Tempe, Goodyear and Surprise, amongst different municipalities within the Valley.

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