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Trash Truck Fires

Date: May 16, 2017

The City of Friendswood would like to remind residents that the disposal of hazardous materials in residential garbage is prohibited.


In the last several weeks, there have been three instances where improper disposal of materials has resulted in smoldering conditions or fire within garbage trucks. A fire in a garbage truck forces the operator to dump contents onto residential streets in order to save equipment and keep the fire from spreading. This creates an eye sore and a trashy problem to contend with.


When hazardous materials are mixed within garbage trucks through the compaction process, multiple hazards are created. Volatile chemicals mix that can spontaneously combust, create toxic inhalation hazards, and contaminate landfills that are not rated for toxic materials.


In addition to hazardous materials, hot charcoals or ashes should never be placed in residential garbage. Soak coals in water prior to disposal to ensure they are completely extinguished.


Avoidable fires such as these take fire and police units out of service, which means that they are unable to respond to other emergencies that may occur.


These items are prohibited in residential garbage: flammable and combustible liquids and solids, poisons, corrosives (acids and bases), oxidizers (pool chemicals), batteries, motor oil, cooking oil, car fluids, paint, and any other hazardous material.


Friendswood residents can use the City of Pearland’s Stella Roberts Recycling facility, located at 5800 Magnolia in Pearland, to properly dispose of household hazardous waste items. Non Pearland residents will pay $1.00 per pound for household hazardous waste items. The charge is $0.50 per pound for electronics type items.


Residents found disposing of or concealing hazardous materials in residential garbage may be fined, criminally charged for damages, or have their residential service suspended.


For more information about residential garbage disposal, contact the City of Friendswood Utility Billing at 281-996-3232. For more fire safety information, contact the Friendswood Fire Marshal’s Office at 281-996-3335 or by email at