The campaign comes after a recent poll by YouGov, commissioned by the ESA, which showed that the general public “lack confidence” about how to safely dispose of these items, which also include lighter fuel, fireworks or old petrol.
The poll showed that the majority of the 2056 adults surveyed did not know how to safely dispose of these items. Nearly 8% of adults also admit to putting vape devices in their general rubbish bin in the last year.
Every year fire and rescue services are called to over 300 serious fires at recycling and waste management facilities across England, many of which are caused by flammable and explosive items not being disposed of correctly.
The risk of these fires happening increases in the summer months due to additional sources of ignition (BBQ ashes and camping gases) being present. Confidence in camping gas canisters disposal is highest in NI and lowest in London (at 51% and 34% respectively).
To help address this fire risk, and in response to the YouGov poll findings, the ESA’s social media campaign, warns the public not to cause a “bincident” and to be mindful about what they put in their bin or recycling this summer. The campaign urges householders to instead take flammable or explosive items to their local household waste recycling centre or check with their local council about which service to use.
Don't cause a #Bincident!!!
— The ESA (@ESA_tweets) June 21, 2023
‘Work to be done’
Executive director of the ESA, Jacob Hayler, said: “It is clear from YouGov’s poll results that there is still more work to be done to help householders know what to do with a range of common domestic flammable or explosive items if we are to minimise the huge damage they can cause.
“Hidden in wheeled bins or kerbside recycling containers, common household items like gas canisters, batteries, vapes, aerosols, barbeque ashes and cigarette lighters are responsible for hundreds of fires across our sector, which put lives at risk, damage essential infrastructure and threaten the natural environment – while also costing the public purse millions of pounds each year.
“We urge householders to help avoid a ‘bincident’ by being mindful about what they put in their bin or mixed recycling, and by checking their local services to find the correct disposal route.”
The ESA is the trade association for the UK’s recycling and waste management industry. It works with all levels of government regulators and the general public to develop a circular economy in the UK.