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Help Prevent Truck Fires this Summer

Waste Management of San Diego Reminds Residents to Properly Dispose of Coals and Pool Chemicals

As temperatures heat up this summer and many take to gathering around the grill and pool, Waste Management of San Diego is asking community members to practice proper disposal of cooled barbecue coals and pool chemicals to help prevent heat related cart and collection truck fires.

"While summer is a wonderful time of the year to gather around the grill with friends and family, it can easily turn dangerous if proper handling and disposal of coals and pool chemicals is not followed," said Bill Bixler, district manager of Waste Management of San Diego. “Just as those coals helped to get the fire started in your barbecue, they can also start a fire in your trash container or, once emptied into the back of one of our trucks, ignite the materials around it.”

Coals that appear to be cooled can still start a fire in the cart or collection truck and create an unsafe situation for all around.

In addition to coals, improper disposal of pool chemicals can also cause dangerous situations, as they too can ignite resulting in fires. “Because safety is our top priority, we are offering tips on handling pool chemicals safely and asking community members to follow safe disposal practices in order to keep their loved ones and our drivers safe this summer.”

  • Coals or ashes fresh from the barbecue should never be disposed directly into trash carts.
  • Allow for the coals to cool for several days, and then placed in a metal container with a tight lid for proper disposal. To speed up the cooling process, you may carefully place coals in a metal container full of water to “drown” them like you would a campfire (never place them in plastic, paper or wood containers).
  • Once cooled, dispose of coals in your trash cart. Do not put them inside your recycling or green waste cart.

Be safe with pool chemicals by following these tips for handling and disposal:

  • Minimize the different types of chemicals you store and don't buy more than you will consume in a season. Some of the more hazardous pool chemicals don't keep well.  
  • Keep wet hands and dirty scoops out of your chemicals. Contamination is often a cause of problems.
  • Don't store pool chemicals where other materials can fall into them.
  • Never mix chemicals. When adding chemicals to your pool allow one to disappear before adding another.
  • Always use gloves and glasses and make sure chemicals are locked away from small children.
  • DO NOT dispose of pool cleaning chemicals in your trash or recycling carts. These chemicals are hazardous and require special disposal. Pool chemicals can be disposed of at Waste Management regularly scheduled Household Hazardous Waste events at the El Cajon facility with an appointment by calling 619-596-5100. Available 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

“Together, we can ensure the safety of our community and our team of dedicated drivers this summer.”


Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is the largest residential recycler and also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.comor www.thinkgreen.com.

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