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Bin lorry fire causes delays on A1 Western Bypass

waste phone and AA batteries

A Gateshead Council recycling lorry caught fire on the A1 Western Bypass this morning leading to significant traffic delays.

Smoke was seen to be issuing from the rear of the lorry as it made its way along the A1 between the MetroCentre and Dunston, forcing the crew to release the load at the side of the Western Bypass.

Tyne and Wear Fire Service attended and extinguished the fire at the side of the road, but two lanes of traffic had to be closed while the work was carried out.

Bin Lorry Fire
Above: bin lorry empties its burning load in Felling in 2018
The fire caused damage to the internal wiring of the vehicle and it has now bene removed from the council's recycling fleet while repairs are carried out.

Although the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, the incident has renewed concerns about the dangers of batteries and small electrical items being thrown into household rubbish and recycling bins.

Last month, a serious fire at Gateshead's household waste and recycling centre in Wrekenton forced it to close for several days with strong suspicions that the fire had been caused by battery or battery-powered device creating sparks which ignited the waste around it.

A fortnight later a similar fire broke out at the Middlefields Recycling Village in neighbouring South Tyneside, again believed to have been started by sparks from a phone battery which had been thrown into the waste which then caused other waste to ignite. 

Gateshead Council is therefore renewing calls for people not to throw old batteries or battery-operated devices into the bin. 

Marc Morley, Gateshead Council's service director for Highways and Waste, says: 

"Three fires in little more than a month shows the very real dangers of throwing old phone or laptop batteries into the bin. 

"These types of batteries can hold a surprisingly powerful charge and when they are thrown into a bin there is a serious risk that they could be damaged and touch something metal, like the inside of the bin lorry or even an empty tin can. This is known to generate sparks which can ignite everything around it. 

"We don't yet know for certain what caused the Wrekenton fire or today's fire on the A1, but this has to be the most likely cause. 

"We are therefore urging the public never to throw old batteries or batter-operated devices like mobile phones into their bins. Instead, please dispose of batteries responsibly at battery recycling points in local shops, supermarkets and dozens of public buildings, at electrical retailers and other High Street stores. 

"Both batteries and battery-powered devices can also be recycled at our Household Waste and Recycling Centres." 

Last August a fire at a Hartlepool recycling plant thought to have been caused by a battery led to Gateshead Council issuing a renewed warning to residents not to put batteries in the bin. 

This followed an outbreak of fire inside a Gateshead Council waste lorry in November 2018 whilst the vehicle was on its rounds in Felling. The crew were forced to dump their entire load into the street to enable the fire service to extinguish the flames. 

Read also:

Another recycling centre fire raises battery concerns

Don't put batteries in the bin, says Council

 

 

waste phone and AA batteries
01 April 2021

A Gateshead Council recycling lorry caught fire on the A1 Western Bypass this morning leading to significant traffic delays.

Smoke was seen to be issuing from the rear of the lorry as it made its way along the A1 between the MetroCentre and Dunston, forcing the crew to release the load at the side of the Western Bypass.

Tyne and Wear Fire Service attended and extinguished the fire at the side of the road, but two lanes of traffic had to be closed while the work was carried out.

Bin Lorry Fire
Above: bin lorry empties its burning load in Felling in 2018
The fire caused damage to the internal wiring of the vehicle and it has now bene removed from the council's recycling fleet while repairs are carried out.

Although the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, the incident has renewed concerns about the dangers of batteries and small electrical items being thrown into household rubbish and recycling bins.

Last month, a serious fire at Gateshead's household waste and recycling centre in Wrekenton forced it to close for several days with strong suspicions that the fire had been caused by battery or battery-powered device creating sparks which ignited the waste around it.

A fortnight later a similar fire broke out at the Middlefields Recycling Village in neighbouring South Tyneside, again believed to have been started by sparks from a phone battery which had been thrown into the waste which then caused other waste to ignite. 

Gateshead Council is therefore renewing calls for people not to throw old batteries or battery-operated devices into the bin. 

Marc Morley, Gateshead Council's service director for Highways and Waste, says: 

"Three fires in little more than a month shows the very real dangers of throwing old phone or laptop batteries into the bin. 

"These types of batteries can hold a surprisingly powerful charge and when they are thrown into a bin there is a serious risk that they could be damaged and touch something metal, like the inside of the bin lorry or even an empty tin can. This is known to generate sparks which can ignite everything around it. 

"We don't yet know for certain what caused the Wrekenton fire or today's fire on the A1, but this has to be the most likely cause. 

"We are therefore urging the public never to throw old batteries or batter-operated devices like mobile phones into their bins. Instead, please dispose of batteries responsibly at battery recycling points in local shops, supermarkets and dozens of public buildings, at electrical retailers and other High Street stores. 

"Both batteries and battery-powered devices can also be recycled at our Household Waste and Recycling Centres." 

Last August a fire at a Hartlepool recycling plant thought to have been caused by a battery led to Gateshead Council issuing a renewed warning to residents not to put batteries in the bin. 

This followed an outbreak of fire inside a Gateshead Council waste lorry in November 2018 whilst the vehicle was on its rounds in Felling. The crew were forced to dump their entire load into the street to enable the fire service to extinguish the flames. 

Read also:

Another recycling centre fire raises battery concerns

Don't put batteries in the bin, says Council

 

 

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