Be Careful With Ashes
With the days growing longer and the anticipation for spring growing wildly, the recent subzero temps are a courteous reminder that winter is still far from over here in Alaska.
While bitter cold temps are commonplace in these parts and staying warm throughout the long cold winter is paramount, it is also important to be mindful of safe and proper waste disposal this time of year, especially when it comes to disposing of hot ashes and coals from fireplaces and stoves.
Not long ago, an Alaska Waste garbage truck in Fairbanks suffered minor damages after a load that the truck had picked up began to smolder. The truck’s driver happened to notice smoke coming from the contents of the waste truck and quickly pulled into the Farmers Loop transfer station to offload the truck’s contents. Once the waste was unloaded a fire quickly flared up creating a smoke plume visible from over a half-mile away. Thanks to the quick actions of the driver of the Alaska Waste truck and rapid assistance from the Steese Volunteer Fire Department, this incident was resolved quickly with no human injury and little property damage.
Although this was the first incident of its kind this winter, garbage truck fires do occur each year and can only be prevented with the help of residential and commercial waste customers. Extra caution can go a long way when it comes to the safe disposal of flammable or hazardous materials. Before disposing of ashes and coal from fireplaces, stoves, or grills, ensure all embers have been properly and completely extinguished. If you regularly accumulate a large amount of waste from the fireplace or stove at your home or business, designate a bin or an all-metal trash can as a holding receptacle for the ashes in between waste collection days.
In addition to being mindful about disposing of coals and hot ashes, Alaska Waste would also like to remind our customers about some of the other items that are not accepted through our residential or commercial garbage collection services. Alaska Waste does not accept oil, batteries, paint, or other hazardous or caustic materials. For more information on how to properly dispose of these materials, please contact your local municipal waste department.By working together, we can all help to work towards safe and responsible waste collection for years to come. At Alaska Waste, we are committed to providing reliable and environmentally responsible solid waste and recycling services to our customers across the state, and we appreciate your help and support along the way.