Battery sparks recycling truck fire

Published on 11 August 2023

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Benalla Rural City residents are being reminded about the safe disposal of hazardous waste following a recent recycling truck fire.

The recycling truck was last week forced to make an emergency stop after the load it was carrying caught fire. The quick actions of the driver and the Benalla Fire Brigade made sure no one was injured, and no property was damaged.

The cause of the fire is believed to be from the incorrect disposal of a vaping device containing a commonly used lithium battery.

Lithium batteries are found within e-waste components such as e-cigarettes, phone, laptops, electric toothbrushes, children’s toys, solar powered devices, and hand tools. The incorrect disposal of these devices in general kerbside waste can spark fires in trucks, putting drivers and the public at risk.

Mayor Cr Bernie Hearn said she was relieved no one was injured and urges residents to be careful about what they put in their kerbside waste and recycling bins.

“This is a reminder of the dangers of disposing batteries in our waste and recycling bins. E-waste and batteries are hazardous and can cause a lot of damage if not handled correctly,” she said.

From 1 July 2019, The Victorian Government banned e-waste from all Victorian landfills and has changed the regulations on how e-waste is managed. While e-waste can no longer be disposed of in your kerbside collection, residents are able to take all e-waste items to the Benalla Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre to be recycled.

For those unable to get to the Landfill, small electrical appliances such as kettles, toasters, children’s toys and battery-operated toothbrushes can be disposed of at Council’s Customer Service Centre at a cost of $2 per item.

“In addition to the Landfill, we are fortunate to have four retailers in Benalla who collect and recycle batteries and small e-waste items such as mobile phones and smart watches free of charge. Recycling units can be found at Woolworths, Aldi, Vinnie’s and the Benalla Grocer.

“As for vaping devices, before throwing them out ensure the battery component is safely removed and recycled in one of the e-waste recycling units,” Cr Hearn said.

For more information visit or download the BRCC Waste app. 


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