CITY TRASH COLLECTION DRIVER FORCED
TO DUMP HOT TRASH ON CITY STREET
City officials warn public not to dump
hot items such as grease, oils, coals, combustibles into trash
RAPID CITY, SD—Police and fire personnel were dispatched to the scene of a City garbage truck fire in the 200 block of Minnesota Street off Fifth Street over the lunch hour Friday. Solid Waste officials believe combustible items ignited contents within the collection bed of the garbage truck.
The contents of the garbage truck were dumped on a small stretch of Minnesota Street. Solid Waste and Fire Department crews are working to spread the material out and douse the material, which will be collected and taken to the landfill. Police are redirecting traffic in the affected area. Access to Minnesota Street medical facilities off Fifth Street is maintained. Public Works officials expect cleanup of the affected area to be completed later this afternoon.
There were no injuries reported. Solid Waste Superintendent Jeff Barber said there was no damage to the City garbage collection vehicle. The driver and vehicle have resumed trash collections. Barber said officials will continue to investigate the source or sources of the combustible material as well as the origin of where the material was collected.
City Solid Waste officials remind the public not to place combustible items or hot items into trash containers. The material can ignite other trash materials in the container or in the garbage collection truck.
City Solid Waste Outreach Coordinator Ria Hannon says to prevent what are often termed ‘hot loads’ – a truckload of recyclables or trash that catches fire or smolders - the public should make sure items such as hot coals, hot food items, hot grease and oils, and other items are set aside and cooled before dumping in trash containers. Trash container fires can quickly spread to the home and property.
Hannon says items such as lithium batteries are often a source of trash container, garbage truck or landfill fires. The batteries can easily puncture and cause a fire and should be recycled at local battery businesses.