“Your garbage is on fire”: Why a Rapid City garbage driver was forced to dump trash in the street and what hot items to avoid tossing

City officials are reminding the public not to dump hot items such as grease, oils, coals and combustibles into the trash

RAPID CITY, S.D. — On Friday, the City of Rapid City reported that a garbage truck was forced to dump trash onto the 200 block of Minnesota Street off Fifth Street after combustible items ignited contents within the collection bed.

Rapid City Police are redirecting traffic in the area while the Solid Waste Department and Fire Department are working to spread and douse the material, which will be collected and taken to the landfill. While access to Minnesota Street medical facilities off Fifth Street is maintained, Rapid City Public Works officials expect cleanup of the affected area to be completed later Friday afternoon.

The City of Rapid City reports that there were no injuries as a result of the incident. Solid Waste Superintendent Jeff Barber also reports that there was no damage to the garbage collection vehicle, and that the driver and vehicle have resumed trash collections.

Photos from the incident at Minnesota Street:

City Solid Waste Outreach Coordinator Ria Hannon says to prevent what are often termed “hot loads”, or a truckload of recyclables or trash that catches fire or smolders, the public should make sure the following items are set aside and cooled before dumping in the trash:

  • Hot coals
  • Hot food items
  • Hot grease and oils

Hannon adds that items such as lithium batteries are often a source of trash container, garbage truck or landfill fires.  These batteries can easily puncture, cause a fire and should be recycled at local battery businesses.

Categories: Local News