Explosives and chickens: Mackay trash risking lives
MACKAY has tossed some weird and wacky things in their trash over the years, but garbage collectors fear an everyday household item in their trucks could cost lives.
JJ Richards Mackay branch manager David Fairley said his crews had found six barbecue gas bottles in wheelie bins this year.
"Gas bottles are our biggest risk," Mr Fairley said.
"If a gas bottle goes there in the load we would be carrying it without knowing for hours."
In the hot, cramped compactor, Mr Fairley said the LPG canister was a ticking time bomb.
A 24-year-old man was killed in 2013 after a gas bottle detonated in a hire truck causing a 40-metre blast radius.
Mr Fairley said he was still haunted by the footage of the Melbourne blast.
"They're really dangerous," he said.
"People need to think to themselves a little bit down the track."
Carelessness could destroy his truck, and endanger the lives of his crew and bystanders, Mr Fairley said.
"Unfortunately it is only one of the many fun things people try and throw away," he said.
In January a JJ Richards rubbish truck caught alight after a car battery disposed of in kerbside wheelie bin in Calen ignited in seconds.
The quick-thinking driver was able to avoid serious damage by extinguishing the fire.
But entire trucks have gone up in flames because of residents' car battery carelessness, Mr Fairley said.
"We lost an entire truck in Sarina eight or nine months ago," he said.
And a marine flare a few months caused another near-deadly incident, setting rubbish alight, Mr Fairley said.
Entire car engines, used oil bottles and EPIRBs have also caused his team headaches, he said.
"It's not that hard," Mr Fairley said.
"There's a way to deal with any of people's waste."
He reminded residents to dispose of their barbecue gas bottles at Mackay Regional Council's Paget Waste Management Centre or return them to the place of purchase.
If residents were unsure of where to dispose their unusual rubbish, they should contact council, he said.
"But anything you can think of will end up in the bin," Mr Fairley joked.
His crews have found some incredibly bizarre items left in the wheelie bins, he said.
"In Mackay we had a live chicken come out of the bin and into the truck," Mr Fairley said.
"Luckily the driver saw it, so it survived."
Weirdest things Mackay residents have thrown in their wheelie bins
A live chicken
A Hills hoist clothes line
Half a surfboard
A V8 engine