Warning after lighter causes recycling fire in Tondu depot

Bridgend County Borough residents are being warned not to put candle and barbeque lighters out with their kerbside recycling or bin bag collections.

The warning follows a small fire which broke out at the Kier depot in Tondu recently and was attended by South Wales Fire and Rescue.

The blaze occurred in the depot’s baling machine and was quickly extinguished by Kier staff before firefighters confirmed there was no further danger.

After clearing the damage, the fire was found to have been caused by a discarded lighting device which ignited several aerosol canisters while the materials were being compressed as part of the recycling process.

Deputy Leader, Cllr Hywel Williams, said: “Thanks to the prompt actions of Kier staff, this fire was quickly dealt with before it could become a bigger problem. However, it could have been avoided altogether if the candle lighter had not been included with the household recycling.

“Once plastics and metals are collected by the crews, they get compressed at the depot into bails for further processing. Lighters such as these and items like cooking gas canisters should never be placed out with regular household recycling as they contain traces of propane or butane, and this creates a dangerous combination once they have been compressed alongside flammable materials.

“It is fine to place aerosol deodorant cans and other household items such as air fresheners into blue recyclable sacks along with plastics and metals, but lighting devices, cooking and heating gas canisters, aerosol spray paints and industrial aerosol varnishes are not suitable, and should instead be disposed of at one the community recycling centres located in Maesteg, Tythegston and Brynmenyn.”

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