Don't put disposable BBQs in recycling bins!

Rebecca Wilson, passionate about recycling across South Yorkshire
Rebecca Wilson
12 Jun 2023

As we head into the summer months waste chiefs in South Yorkshire have issued a fresh warning about the danger of throwing away disposable BBQs before they are properly extinguished.

One of the main hazards of disposable BBQs is the risk of starting a fire if they are not disposed of correctly. The BBQs can smoulder unnoticed for hours and set fire to waste bins and refuse collection vehicles.

Disposable BBQ burning

To help prevent accidents and danger to waste operatives, people are being asked to take a few, simple precautions to keep everyone safe.

  • Never put hot embers into your bin.
  • Disposable BBQs should be dowsed fully with water and then left overnight or for at least 4 hours before being disposed of as they can stay hot for a couple of days. Many fires start due to the heat from leftover disposable BBQs, rather than the flames themselves.
  • Do not dispose of them in the recycling bin, as they cannot be recycled. Once completely cold, they should be placed in the household waste bin.
  • Remember, ash and embers can still be very hot even if they appear unlit, so take extra care when handling the BBQ. Do not move it immediately after use or after it has been extinguished. It can take a long time for the BBQ to cool down enough to safely move.
  • Care should be taken when using disposable BBQs in the countryside. Never leave them unattended and make sure they are fully out and have gone completely cold after use.

Last year some national retailers announced they would no longer be stocking disposable BBQs following a series of fires believed to have been started by them.  This summer there have already been destructive moorland fires where BBQs are believed to have been the cause.

Community Education Liaison Officer Abi Reid, who is based at the BDR household waste treatment facility at Manvers, said: “As the summer season gets underway there is an increase in the use of disposable BBQs. For anyone using them we would urge you to make sure they are properly extinguished before you throw them away or the consequences can be very dangerous.

“You should also take care to protect the surrounding environment especially in hot, dry weather. Forest and grass fires are becoming more common, and disposable barbeques are a common cause.”

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