Trash and Recycling - Hot Loads

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Your help is needed in preventing fires ("hot loads") in trash and recycling collection vehicles.

What is a Hot Load?
A truckload of recyclables or trash that catches fire, smolders, spontaneously combusts, or becomes toxic as a result of incompatible waste mixing inside a collection truck. Hot loads can potentially jeopardize the health and safety of the driver of the collection truck, as well as the public. A hot load can occur in neighborhoods while collecting recycling and trash or on public roadways, and can damage personal property and collection vehicles.

What causes a hot load?
Improper disposal of material in a recycling or trash container that is incompatible and reacts when mixed with other solid waste in a collection vehicle. Rigid plastic containers such as pool chemical tubs are not acceptable through the Town's recycling program. Please visit our website at for proper disposal information.

Hot Load clip 001

The combination of incompatible chemicals, such as household bleach and ammonia, can be lethal.
Depending on the types of household chemicals, the results can be a hazard waiting to happen - - injuring workers, family members, neighbors, pets, and the environment. Carefully sorting or separately containing household chemicals in your trash container is still risky business. When trash is collected, it is compacted in the truck to make room for more refuse. The compaction process makes it possible for incompatible materials to mix together. Household chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, automotive fluids (including oil and antifreeze), paints and paint thinners, and pool chemicals should be used to the last drop.


 DO NOT place the following material in your recyclingHot Load clip 002
or trash containers:

  • Hot ashes (cigarette paraphernalia, hot coals and/or wood)
  • Motor oil, gasoline, antifreeze, Kerosene
  • Paint, varnish, pesticides, pool chemicals or other household chemicals
  • Auto batteries, rechargeable NiCad or Lithium batteries
  • Liquid cooking oil from fryer


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