Garbage truck catches fire in Delhi

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A commercial garbage truck was forced to empty its load in a parking lot off of Delhi Avenue Thursday morning after the garbage in the truck caught on fire.

Delhi police and fire department responded to the scene and had the fire out within minutes. The driver was not injured.

Rumpke officials are reminding residents and businesses of what you should and shouldn't throw away.

As a reminder, Rumpke doesn't accept batteries or combustible materials, as they contain chemicals that may ignite. Also as residents wrap-up their spring cleaning and begin opening their swimming pools, local fire department officials and Rumpke remind residents of the proper way to dispose of items like chlorine and cleaning supplies.

"While these items may seem harmless, they could have dangerous implications for our drivers, landfill employees and the environment," said Randy Ellert, Rumpke safety specialist.

For example, pool chemicals are intended to be mixed with large amounts of water. However, if only a small amount of water is mixed with the chemical, a dangerous reaction may occur, including harmful vapors and fires.

"Residents need to realize that you can't throw everything into your trash can," Ellert said. "Chemicals and cleaning supplies that are labeled 'Danger' or 'Poison' typically indicate that they are a household hazardous waste and residents need to dispose of them accordingly."

Rumpke drivers are trained to identify potentially hazardous materials and are instructed to not collect them.

"The driver followed proper protocol and found a large area where he could safely empty his load," said Molly Yeager, corporate communication coordinator for Rumpke.

Rumpke is currently investigating what caused the fire.

City of Fairfield and Colerain Township fire departments are echoing Rumpke's reminders.

"Inattentive disposal of household products that can react to other refuse or chemicals can lead to far greater problems than just having these chemicals themselves in the landfill," said Assistant Chief Rick Niehaus of the Colerain Township Department of Fire & EMS.

Niehaus added that annually fire departments are called to the scenes of truck fires that could have been prevented by residents properly disposing of cleaning supplies and chemicals.

"We (fire departments) understand the full potential for waste load fires from the residential waste stream," said Chief Don Bennett of the Fairfield Fire Department.  "Improved awareness hopefully will reduce the potential for a fire or property loss."

Many of the local county solid waste districts offer household hazardous waste clean-up days where residents can dispose of this material for free.

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