Phone battery sparks fire at landfill

This burnt Item, which was recovered following a fire at the landfill on Monday, 18 Jan., is believed to be a cellphone battery and suspected to have caused the small surface fire. - Photo DEH

A discarded cellphone battery is believed to have caused a small fire at the George Town landfill earlier this afternoon (18 Jan.).

A press release from Government information Services said the Department of Environmental Health reported the “small surface fire” at about 4pm.

DEH staff are said to have worked together with the Cayman Islands Fire Service to extinguish the fire.

“On initial inspection, the incident appears to have been caused when a vehicle drove over a mobile phone battery or similar that had been discarded in the regular waste while compacting an area of the landfill site, causing the battery to burst and ignite,” GIS said in the release.

DEH Director Richard Simms reminded the public of the correct way to dispose of batteries.

“Any kind of battery, including those found in mobile phones, pose an increased risk of combustion and should be separated from other waste materials when disposing,” said Simms in the release. “For this reason, the George Town Landfill has a designated area for batteries which we encourage the public to use.”

DEH crews are expected to remain at the site throughout the night to monitor the area for any smoke.

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