By News-Register staff • 

Keep flammables out of trash

With dozens of fires burning across the region, including one north of Willamina, Waste Management is calling for extra care in disposal of trash and recyclables.

The company, which operates a regional landfill south of McMinnville and a collection franchise in Newberg, says firefighters have to respond to fires in garbage containers, garbage trucks or waste collection facilities several times a year. It says they are typically triggered by the discard of dangerous combustibles, common culprits including spent batteries, barbecue coals or ashes, and flammable chemicals like lighter fluid and propane.

“Barbecue can stay hot enough to start a fire for days after the cookout,” said company representative Jackie Lang. Coals should be allowed to cool for several days, and then be thoroughly soaked or hosed down with water. 

Small batteries may be dropped off at Lowe's or Home Depot, or at hazardous waste events hosted by Yamhill County. Riverbend's Recycling Center accepts larger lead-acid batteries free of charge, as long as their casings are intact, and the Newberg Transfer Station accepts automotive batteries at no charge.  

Containers featuring residue from gasoline, lighter fluid, propane or other flammable chemicals are barred from waste containers and the landfill. They are, however, accepted at hazardous waste collection events.

The next such event will be held Oct. 17. Until then, such items should be stored in a cool, dry place.