Don’t turn your trash can into a fire hazard

February 16, 2018

Materials improperly placed into the trash can be significant fire hazards, capable of starting fires when:

  • mixed in loads of waste in refuse collection trucks,
  • on rail cars on the way to waste processing and disposal facilities, or
  • while waste is being processed at Montgomery County’s Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station or Resource Recovery Facility.

To reduce the risk for trash fires, do not place the following materials in your trash:

The danger is that when these types of items are mixed, or come in contact with, other substances that could be in the trash, the combination can be volatile and catch fire.

These items should be properly disposed in Montgomery County’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program, or other special collection processes available at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station.


Download the educational postcard that was distributed across the County.

8 comments on "Don’t turn your trash can into a fire hazard"

  1. Hudson says:

    This post is very informative! A lot of people die each year due to fire accidents so it is very important to aware people about maintaining safety at home or workplace to ignore fire accidents.

  2. Barry Bittner says:

    There’s an abandoned house across the street that caught fire and did significant damage if not totally destroyed. The house was abandoned in August of 2018, eight months ago. The utility companies turned off the water, gas and electricity when it was abandoned. Cause of the fire has not been determined.

    The tenant/owner left the house in very bad shape let alone not emptying everything out. The house is forty-five years old and was condemned three years ago! The garage is packed full of bagged garbage because the guy wouldn’t pay for garbage pickup. It is absolutely pathetic.

    Rumors are flying around on what could have caused the fire. Obviously the gas and electricity is out of the question. Is it possible that there could been garbage in the basement that could have combusted and stench had been the problem? Would the stench become combustible if the garbage is piled in layers over a period of time? Rumors have it that the fire was started in the basement. Or, could it be arson???

  3. Bob says:

    I like your tip about containing compressed gas. That makes sense considering you don’t want flammable gas to erupt. I’ll have to consider your tips so that I can dispose of waste responsibly.

  4. Alina says:

    Hello! I would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog more often.

  5. Franziska says:

    really informative post. thanks for sharing 🙂
    franzi from powder brows

  6. I found it helpful when you talked about how it is important to keep a garbage disposal system, and the water, running for about a minute after using it. My son recently put some chicken bones down our sink instead of the garbage, so now our pipes are clogged. It would probably be best for me to hire a plumber to come and remove the clog so that I don’t cause any more problems.

  7. Oleksandra says:

    Hi there. Thanks for an awesome article! I will be happy to read more from you on this topic.

  8. zidane says:

    thank you for the information

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