Lorry fire in Little Tew highlights council’s safety message

Councillor David Harvey is at a dedicated recycling box for electrical items in West Oxfordshire. NNL-150809-191342001
Councillor David Harvey is at a dedicated recycling box for electrical items in West Oxfordshire. NNL-150809-191342001

A West Oxfordshire District Counil bin lorry caught fire in Little Tew after a laptop was crushed during the compacting process.

The crew heard an explosion in the back of the vehicle and saw flames coming out. Fortunately their speedy actions prevented the fire from spreading beyond the back of the truck.

Firefighters used thermal imaging to find out the cause of the fire, which had started when the laptop containing four large lithium batteries was crushed.

The council is urging residents to take care about what they put in their household rubbish following the incident.

Councillor David Harvey, cabinet member for environment, said: “Thankfully, the crew’s swift action avoided what could have been a potentially serious incident. However, it is a stark reminder of the importance of disposing of electrical goods safely.

“Smaller unusable electrical items can be recycled at most of our recycling sites and larger electrical items taken to one of the county’s waste and recycling centres.

“The ‘crossed out wheelie bin’ symbol found on many electrical items means that they should not be put into normal household rubbish bins.”

There are nine recycling sites across the district with containers for small electrical items, which are known as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) banks. They are a bright pink colour.

Anything with electrical or electronic parts from straighteners to shavers, and toys to toasters, can be placed in the pink WEEE banks.