Rash of Rumpke truck fires prompts warning about what shouldn’t be in your trash

Rumpke warns of combustibles in trash causing garbage truck fires

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - More than a dozen Rumpke garbage truck fires have ignited since the start of the summer, according to the company. Not it’s putting out a warning to customers not to place combustible items in the trash.

Among them, according to the company’s website: batteries, tires, liquids, combustible materials or any items identified as hazardous.

Rumpke spokesperson Molly Yeager says this is an ongoing problem throughout the year, but it spikes in the summer.

Most recently, the Cincinnati Fire Department’s Heavy Rescue Unit 9 had to put out a truck on fire on Brotherton Road in Oakley Monday.

It was the 15th such incident since June.

“A lot of it has to do with some of the summer staples from, you know, charcoal embers and propane tanks, swimming pool chemicals, all these things that have been known to cause fires,” Yeager said. “And we’ve seen a rash of them here recently.”

She explains in the fire Monday the driver smelled the smoke and immediately pulled into the nearest parking lot to dump the truck’s load.

“There were several things in the load from yesterday that could have potentially caused that fire,” Yeager said. “There was an old grill that was out there. There was a propane tank there. There was some paint as well, and paint, if it’s not properly dried out, can also cause a chemical reaction and cause a fire.”

She explains the fires are caused by a truck’s process of compacting trash. The compaction can potentially spark a fire when things like batteries, paint, pool chemicals and propane tanks get crunched together.

“If you’re looking at a label on a container and you see that sign that says ‘flammable,’ that should be your first ket that that doesn’t belong in your garbage or recycling.”

Rumpke has a list of things you should not throw in the trash on its website.

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