Council warns residents against putting hazardous items in bins

Date published: 2 September 2022

Townsville City Council is warning residents that throwing away items like batteries, flares and gas bottles in their household bins can cause life-threatening fires and explosions in waste and recycling trucks.

The reminder comes after a waste truck was forced to dump its contents in Aitkenvale last Thursday after items inside caught fire. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were called to the scene and successfully extinguished the blaze.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said there was no excuse for dumping hazardous items in your bin.

“To put it plainly, you endanger Council employees’ lives and lives in the community if you choose to put hazardous items in your waste or recycling bin,” Cr Cook said.

“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.”

Cr Cook said there were alternative options for disposing of these 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,” he said.

“Council has a comprehensive list of what can and can’t go in each of your bins on its website, so if you’re unsure please visit the What Goes In Your Bins page to double check.

“We need your help to do the right thing so that our city’s waste is disposed of correctly and safely.”

Visit our Waste and Recycling pages for more information about what goes into household bins.

What can’t go in my waste bin?

  • Batteries
  • Hot ashes and liquids
  • Sharps and needles
  • Recyclable products that should be placed in your recycle bin
  • Gas bottles, and any other corrosive and flammable items (gas bottles up to 9kg can be disposed of for free at transfer stations)
  • Car parts, including batteries (batteries can be disposed for free at transfer stations)
  • TVs and computers (up to 20 pieces can be disposed of for free at transfer stations)
  • Paints and solvents (HERVEY RANGE ONLY - Up to 100L in containers of 20L or less can be disposed of for free at transfer stations)
  • Oil (up to 20L can be disposed of for free at transfer stations)