Garbage truck load catches fire again

For the second time in less than two months, a garbage truck load has caught fire after a St. Charles Parish resident put flammable items in their trash.

Chris Stewart, operations safety manager for River Birch Renewable Energy, said that the company wants to provide the best service possible to parish residents, but that it’s a partnership.

“So we depend on residents to help us by placing only approved items in their carts,” she said. “No batteries, fuels, waste oil, chemicals, etc. These items present a hazard not only to our trucks but more importantly to our team members.”

The most recent garbage fire occurred in Destrehan last week. Stewart said the company was unable to come up with the item that caused the fire.

She added that the most common items that people throw in the garbage but shouldn’t include batteries, ammunition, fireworks, gas cylinders, chemicals, ashes and fuel cans.

“Those are some of the most common items we see, but the list is not all inclusive,” she added.

While situations like this are not a frequent occurrence, Stewart said it does happen more often than the company would like.

“Some of the most common reasons are when people are opening or closing their swimming pools for the season and getting rid of old chemicals, when fireplaces are used and ashes are disposed of, or fireworks put in the trash that have not been properly extinguished,” she said.