The ACT Government has concluded its investigation of a recycling depot fire in Canberra last year with a warning that choosing the wrong bin to dispose of household waste can have dire consequences.
Bega Council’s Waste Strategy Coordinator, Tim Cook said the Hume Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) was the site where Bega Valley sent its domestic recycling to be processed.
“The investigation found that common household batteries placed in the recycling stream were the cause of a fire that destroyed an entire recycling facility,” Mr Cook said.
“Batteries of any type, whether from your television remote control, your mobile phone or rechargeable drill can be a fire risk if placed in a household bin.
“The good news is batteries can be safely recycled through our Merimbula and Mobile Community Recycling Centres (CRC), our library-based Community Recycling Stations, and B-cycle drop-off points found at local shops and supermarkets.
“Many people aren’t aware of this, and the findings of the ACT Government investigation are a timely reminder that we can all do the right thing when disposing of these seemingly harmless products.
“It’s sobering that a small handful of batteries caused a major safety hazard for facility staff and nearby residents, as well as significant environmental damage and an expensive rebuild project and resource diversion strategy.
“Diversion of recycling to other recovery facilities is a key point we want to stress because other facilities in NSW are available to process the shire’s recyclables in the absence of an operating MRF in Canberra.
“Until a new facility is built at the Hume site, all domestic recycling from the Bega Valley Shire is being diverted to a recycling centre at Nowra.
“This means residents should continue to recycle and put out their yellow bin every fortnight as usual.”
For more information on Council’s Community Recycling Centre, its library recycling stations and to find out when the mobile CRC is visiting a waste transfer station near you, visit Council’s website.
To find out where your nearest B-cycle drop-off point is, visit the B-cycle website.
Above: The handful of batteries that caused the fire at the Hume Materials Recovery Facility.