Thursday, April 25, 2024

Corangamite staff fed up with landfill flare-ups

Corangamite Shire Council says staff are “at their wits’ end” after a spate of landfill fires caused by e-waste, batteries and flares in general waste.

The Council has repeatedly been called on to fight fires at Corangamite Landfill started by incorrect disposal, said Council Coordinator Waste and Environmental Sustainability, Sofia Myers.

“There was one day in January when three fires started from municipal waste disposed of at the landfill. The fires were caused by one flare, and two batteries. We’ve never seen this many fires in one day,” said Ms Myers.

“If that had happened on an extreme fire day, the consequences could have been disastrous.”

Ms Myers congratulated Council’s landfill team for repeatedly stepping up to handle the dangerous blazes.

“Our team is well trained in dealing with small emergencies but they shouldn’t be put in potential danger because of their job.”

“We have outstanding operators who have great skill on heavy machinery.

“Recently we had two fires in the waste caused only by inappropriate appliances put into the waste bins. Another was caused by an e-scooter with the battery igniting when compacted.”

“We need members of the public to help keep our people, and residents around the landfill safe. We would like to remind the public that no one should ever place hazardous items like old flares or lithium, household, and lead acid batteries or jump starters into their wheelie bins or skips.

“They can start a fire in the waste truck or a landfill when crushed with a compactor.”

Batteries and flares burn at high temperatures for a long time which can set fire to waste and create serious land, air and water pollution, she said.

Expensive landfill liners, leachate and gas collection systems can also be damaged, allowing more pollution to escape and disrupt essential services.

Ms Myers encouraged residents to separate out their e-Waste, including batteries, and dispose of them free of charge at the landfill or their nearest transfer station.

She also encouraged boaties to invest in an electronic LED distress beacon instead of pyrotechnic flares.

“There are plenty of products available now that are just as effective, don’t expire and can be safely disposed of in e-waste.”

Anyone with a flare that needs to be disposed of should call their local police station for advice.

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