Townsville warns dangerous items in bins put lives at risk.

Richard Dinnen - Queensland Editor |

Fire crews put out rubbish dumped from a waste truck after it caught fire (Townsville City Council)
Fire crews put out rubbish dumped from a waste truck after it caught fire (Townsville City Council)

Townsville City Council has warned that putting dangerous items like batteries, flares, and gas bottles in household bins can cause fires and explosions in waste and recycling trucks.

A waste truck operator was forced to dump its contents last week at Aitkenvale when items inside caught fire.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were called to the scene and successfully extinguished the blaze.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chair, Russ Cook, said putting  hazardous items in household bins can cause life-threatening emergencies.

“You endanger Council employees’ lives and lives in the community if you choose to put hazardous items in your waste or recycling bin.

“Items like batteries, gas bottles, camping stoves and canisters, marine flares, and chemicals cannot go into either of your household bins as they can ignite and cause fires or explosions in our trucks and damage our environment.

“Every Council employee is a Townsville local who deserves to do their job in a safe workplace every day, so I’m urging everyone to do their part to ensure their waste and recycling bins are free from hazardous materials.”

Councillor Cook said there are other ways to dispose of dangerous items.

“Most items like gas bottles, car batteries, TVs and computers, paint, oil and scrap metal can be taken to one of our transfer stations and disposed of for free.

“Council has a comprehensive list of what can and can’t go in each of your bins on its website. We need your help to do the right thing so that our city’s waste is disposed of correctly and safely.”