ESA fire prevention campaign – Summer 2023

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Fires within waste containers, collection vehicles, and processing facilities pose a perennial risk for the recycling and waste management sector but the incidence of more significant waste fires tends to increase during the summer months when waste material is dry and when additional seasonal sources of ignition are present. 

Fires are typically caused by flammable, hot or explosive items present in residual waste or dry recycling and while the industry invests heavily in systems and processes to mitigate, detect and supress fires, the risks are more effectively reduced by ensuring dangerous items are disposed of correctly, mostly by services offered by Household Waste Recycling Centres. 

Items typically responsible for waste fires include: 

  • Batteries
  • Flammable liquids – such as petrol, lighter fluid and spirits
  • Compressed gas canisters – such as patio or campaign gas, aerosols and nitrous oxide
  • Vape devices
  • Barbecue or firepit ashes

Additionally, a national YouGov poll commissioned by the ESA in May 2023 found that most consumers lack confidence about how to safely dispose of many of the items listed above, which likely contributes to them being discarded improperly and suggests that more communications activity is necessary. 

In response to this challenge, the ESA has created a wide range of consumer-facing communications campaign materials, optimised across various social media channels, to help our members; our partners in local government and other stakeholders, raise awareness of the dangers of improper disposal of the aforementioned items and to sign-post their correct disposal. 

The campaign urges consumers not to put dangerous items in the bin to avoid a “bincident”24563 summer fire campaign_ESA_web_1200x400.pngThe campaign will go live in late June 2023 and will run until the end of September 2023. The whole range of collateral, as well as a user guide will be available to download for free by clicking the button above once live. The supporter pack downloads as a Zip file.  The full findings of the YouGov poll are available upon request.

If you have any issues downloading the material, or have any feedback on the campaign, please contact Ben Johnson ( )