Council warning as battery causes Isle of Wight bin lorry fire

FIRE crews were called out last week after a damaged battery placed incorrectly in a recycling bin caused a small fire.

The driver alerted emergency services after he noticed smoke and flames coming from the back of the vehicle at Atherley Road in Shanklin last Thursday (July 21).

The Isle of Wight Council is reminding residents of the importance of separating household batteries.

Natasha Dix, strategic manager for environment, said: “An incident like this shows how important it is to make sure you separate your used batteries from the rest of your waste and recycling.  

“They are only collected on your general (black bin/gull sack) waste week. Used batteries must not be placed in with the rest of your waste.

“They need to go in a separate clear small bag and placed clearly on top of your closed bin or sack

“This is so the crew can see them and can place them safely away from the rest of the waste in the bespoke battery section on the trucks.  

“Luckily no one was injured. I would like to praise the quick reaction of the collection crew and the fire service. It could have been so much worse.” 

  • Place your spent household batteries safely and separately in their own clear sandwich-sized bag.
  • Leave the clear bag containing the batteries on top (not inside) of your general waste (black bins/black gull-proof sacks) on your general waste collection week. 
  • All the batteries collected by the crews are placed in a special box fitted to the collection vehicles and sent for sorting and processing. 
  • Metals and chemicals are removed and used to make new batteries and other products.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Cllr Karen Lucioni, Cabinet member for waste and public protection, said: “Batteries thrown into ordinary bins, household waste or with other recycling are dangerous.

“They can easily get squashed, compacted, punctured, shredded, or soaked in liquids. When this happens, they can ignite, as happened recently.  

“I would like to thank our collection crew and fire service who were able to take swift action to prevent a fire in the lorry, which could have resulted in far more serious consequences.

“Thankfully no one was hurt, and the vehicle wasn’t badly damaged, but this shows how dangerous it can be to put batteries in the bin.”

Isle of Wight County Press | News