WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Fourth of July celebrations are wrapping up, and now the cleanup begins.
Even after they light up the sky, fireworks remain a big concern for waste companies.
“The Fourth of July holiday brings on the extra fireworks trash,” explained Jim Spencer, owner of Air Capital Waste. “There’s a concern for the dangers of firework disposal.”
Fireworks contain dangerous chemicals that can potentially start a fire, even after being used.
According to the Wichita Fire Department, majority of fires during the Fourth of July Holiday are caused by improper disposal.
Spencer is urging customers to keep safety in mind, as improper disposal puts crews at an increased risk for injuries.
Fires can also start in trash carts or at the transfer stations.
“Last year we probably had three different trash carts that were melted to the ground from improper disposal of fireworks,” said Spencer.
He offered a few tips on properly disposing fireworks to keep local waste crews safe.
- Used fireworks should be hosed down or placed in a water bucket to deactivate the gunpowder.
- If the fireworks weren’t soaked overnight, they should not be in the garbage bin the next day. Let them sit out for a few days.
- Do not recycle leftover firework materials, only the packaging.
- Soak unused fireworks at least 20 minutes before placing them in the trash
The same rules apply to coals and ashes from barbeques.