Keep your fuel out of the fire

Improperly tossed household items spark potentially dangerous fires at landfill

What’s in your garbage? If batteries, electronics or pool chemicals are among your other throwaways, you’re fuelling the fire risk for Hartland Landfill.

Almost 100 per cent of landfill fires in our region are caused by these three items – items that need to be property disposed of in the recycling area, for free.

“What you put in the garbage matters,” explains Russ Smith, with Environmental Resource Management at the Capital Regional District. “While we haven’t seen another fire as serious as the one sparked at the Hartland Landfill in July 2015, small fires remain a monthly occurrence, despite landfill material bans and strong, safety-focused operational practices.”

Although most fires are quickly contained by staff, there’s always potential for fire to grow to an unmanageable level, especially in the dry summer and early fall times, before fall rains arrive.

• About 50 per cent of these fires are caused by batteries, especially lithium ion batteries in found in consumer electronics.

• The remaining 50 per cent of fires are caused by household hazardous waste, especially pool chemicals.

Proper disposal is THIS easy

The good news is that landfill fires are easy to avoid if residents keep batteries and household chemicals out of the trash. Here’s how:

1. Household batteries – These contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, zinc, manganese and lithium that can be re-used if they’re recycled properly. Batteries can be collected and dropped off for free at one of more than 50 convenient locations across the region that collect these items for recycling – visit Call2Recycle.ca to find the drop-off location closest to you.

2. Household electronics – Of course, the electronics that contain most of these batteries are also easily recyclable – both at the Hartland Landfill’s recycling depot and at various other community sites.

3. Pool chemicals – The only safe place for pool chemicals is in your pool or hot tub. Old, unused or expired pool chemicals can be dropped off six days a week at Hartland Landfill for FREE, keeping them out of the landfill and away from potential fire sources. For more information on this free disposal program, visit crd.bc.ca/hhw

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