Blaze danger: don’t start a bonfire in your rubbish bin

Families planning Guy Fawkes Night celebrations are being urged to stop discarded ash or fireworks turning their rubbish bin into a dangerous blaze.

Somerset has seen a series of rubbish-linked fires in recent months and years, each one almost certainly due to residents inadvertently throwing away high risk items into their bin or black sacks.

Discarded ashtray contents may have caused a Chard bin blaze that put a house at risk, while the suspects for starting a landfill fire near Castle Cary include hot ash, a battery or an aerosol.

A Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) spokesperson said: “Fires can kill. Families must be alert to the potentially fatal risks of putting the wrong things in their bin after bonfire night.”

Ash, embers, barbecues and ashtray contents must be completely cool or drenched with water to avoid fire risks in bins, rubbish vehicles or on landfill sites.

Fully-spent fireworks must be soaked in water and then they can be disposed of in rubbish or taken to a recycling site to be put in the general waste.

Misfired or part-spent fireworks must be soaked in water overnight or longer, until properly sodden, and the manufacturer or supplier should be contacted for guidance on disposal.

All batteries must be recycled at a recycling site or high street collection point, while aerosols can, when empty, be recycled with cans in kerbside weekly recycling boxes.

For more advice, search for bonfire at the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service website or see RoSPA’s Safer Fireworks website.

On a tastier note, bonfire night can cut food waste by using up leftovers, from baked potato fillings to extras in anything-goes hotdogs, as well as any unused halloween pumpkins.

For great recipes, search for “pumpkin” on these and other websites: Hubbub, LoveFoodHateWaste, BBC Good Food, and Country Living.