A CAR BATTERY left in a resident's rubbish bag has left bin men moments away from injury after it set fire to a rubbish truck.

The incident took place earlier this month when smoke was spotted coming out of the back of a waste disposal truck while it was passing through Spencers Wood on February 12.

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Berkshire Fire and Rescue Services were called to the scene to extinguish the fire, and fortunately none of the crew was injured.

Dave Crease, group manager at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Batteries in household waste and recycling can lead to a challenging incident for fire and rescue services to deal with which can cause significant disruption to communities.

"Many people may not realise the importance of correctly disposing of batteries, so we are urging residents to please act responsibly by using widely available local battery recycling services."

The vehicle was 'considerably damaged' and has been taken out of service.

Dont put batteries in your rubbish bags

Don't put batteries in your rubbish bags, Councillor says

It was revealed later on that the cause of the fire was a car battery that had been place inside the waste the men were collecting.

Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “I’d like to thank the crew for spotting the fire early and local fire service for their swift response to deal with the incident.

“Fortunately none of the staff were injured and they were so proactive in dealing with the incident, but this situation is easily avoidable.

"All residents should dispose of all batteries, and small electrical devices, correctly at the household waste recycling centres or other local collection points to help prevent future vehicle fires."

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If you need to get rid of your old batteries, they should be taken to a recycling centre, of which there are many across the Wokingham borough, including at supermarkets.

Cllr Batth added: “Fires involving batteries and electrical items incorrectly discarded into kerbside collections have a significant impact on our resources, as well as the fire services.

"This incident was small but it could have been much worse and been a further drain on public resources – both for the council and the fire service."

For more information on where to dispose of your old batteries, visit recyclenow.com/local-recycling.