Fire at John Brocklesby’s Scrap Yard.
The blaze at John Brocklesby’s Scrap Yard.

Warning as two major Hull fires caused by incorrect waste disposal 

Hull City Council is encouraging residents to dispose of their waste correctly, following two major waste-related fires. 

The Council continues to recommend that residents dispose of dangerous and potentially flammable items at the household waste recycling centres (HWRCs). 

This message comes after an increase in the number of waste related fires in the city, which are often caused by residents disposing of items such as batteries, small electricals, gas bottles, hot ashes, vapes and lighters, in their kerbside bins. 

Most recently, a serious fire occurred at the FCC Environment site at Wilmington, off Cleveland Street, Hull on Sunday 17 June. This is where Hull City Council deliver their bulky and kerbside waste.  

The fire is believed to have been caused by smoldering waste which led to a mattress setting alight, resulting in more than 100 tonnes of waste catching fire.  

Humberside Fire and Rescue attended the incident with five fire engines and took four hours to get the incident under control, with damage caused to the building and roof of the site. 

Concern also lies around the incorrect disposal of batteries and items that contain batteries, as these items were the cause of a major fire in Hull on Friday 5 May. 

The battery which caused the fire in this instance had not been separated and recycled in the correct manner and caused a blaze to start at John Brocklesby’s scrap yard at Lime Street, Hull.  

50 tonnes of scrap material were involved in the fire, which resulted in considerable damage to the site. 

There have also been several incidents where waste collection vehicles have found their loads to be smoking or on fire.  

These incidents can cause imminent danger to the collection crew and severe damage to Council vehicles. 

Doug Sharp, Head of Street Cleansing and Waste Management at Hull City Council, said:  “Following a rise in waste fires, we urge residents to use the HWRCs to dispose of dangerous and flammable items, and to not dispose of them with general household waste. 

“These fires can be challenging for the fire service and can cause a strain on Council resources. 

“Everyone can do their bit to prevent waste-related fires in the city by ensuring they manage waste disposal appropriately.” 

A campaign to reduce bin fires, launched by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), found that every year fire services are called to over 300 serious fires at recycling and waste management facilities across England, many of which are caused by dangerous and flammable items not being disposed of correctly. 

Sarah Wilkinson, Head of Prevention at Humberside Fire and Rescue said: “Incidents like this are preventable and we support Hull City Council’s advice to residents to use the household waste recycling centres to properly dispose of electrical items and batteries to reduce the risk of fires from starting. “Even a small fire can soon become dangerous as it quickly spreads to other waste materials, buildings and vehicles, posing a risk to life, property and the environment.  

“We advise people to never leave damaged batteries in the home or business and to dispose of them safely and correctly as soon as possible. Let’s all work together to help reduce fires from starting and help protect our community and the environment.” 

Rob McMahon, Environment Officer at the Environment Agency said: “All electrical waste should be properly disposed of and recycled to protect our environment – this includes lithium-ion batteries commonly found in disposable vape pens and other electrical appliances. 

“Raw materials are finite, and every battery thrown away and lost to the system is a waste of valuable resources. We strongly encourage all consumers to dispose of electrical waste at local household recycling centres or at retailers when purchasing replacements, to help reduce the risk of fires which are increasing nationally.” 

Residents looking to dispose of dangerous and flammable items in the Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire areas can take them to one of their local HWRCs or other local collection points. 

The HWRCs can be found at Amsterdam Road, Wiltshire Road, and Burma Drive. All centres are open Monday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. 

For more information visit the Council website Household waste recycling centres | Hull City Council 

Residents can also dispose of batteries at local shops and supermarkets. 

To find your local battery recycle point, visit Bring Back Heavy Metal

For more safety advice on lithium-ion batteries visit Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

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