LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After two separate trash truck fires happened in one week, Rumpke Waste & Recycling is sending a reminder to its customers about what they can and can’t put into the trash. With many of us turning to spring cleaning while under self-quarantine, these are important tips to remember.

The two fires happened on Monday in Southern Indiana and on Tuesday in Louisville. The drivers were not injured and both trucks only sustained minor damage, but the drivers had to drop their loads onto the road, causing traffic issues.

“Placing flammable items into the trash and recycling has potentially hazardous results for our employees, equipment and the public,” Bridget Biggs, Rumpke Area Safety Manager, said.

Rumpke fire Middletown

Normally drivers are supposed to audit what they are putting into their trucks to keep potentially flammable items out, but to help curb the spread of COVID-19, all items must be bagged in order to be picked up. So that responsibility now falls onto the customer.

Common fire-starters like cleaning products, charcoal embers, and lithium-ion batteries are not accepted in the Rumpke trash and recycling program. Items like this are likely what caused the two fires this week.

“If an item says flammable or hazardous – that means it isn’t accepted in our programs,” Biggs said. “The proper way to dispose of these materials is through your local solid waste district.”

Additional instructions for what can be placed in Rumpke’s trash or recycling programs can be found on the company website.


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