HAMPDEN – An explosion in the Coastal Resources of Maine facility shut it down.
Some of what people throw away in their trash can risk the safety of others.
On Jan. 9, officials from Coastal Resources of Maine dealt with a fire that injured two workers and closed the facility for six days.
The cause of that fire was the explosion of a propane canister that someone had thrown away like it was a common piece of trash.
For that reason and others, Shelby Wright, the director of community services at Coastal Resources of Maine, said you have to think before you throw out something.
“This incident could have happened anywhere or at anytime during the sanitation process, it could have happened in transfer station in the compactor, it could have happened in the truck that delivered the material to the plant and it could have happened at any stage during the processing of the material. So it’s best to think before you throw because people’s lives may actually depend on it,” Wright said.
She said there are multiple items including propane canisters, that can’t be simply thrown into the trash.
Those items include needles, yard waste and mixtures of household chemicals.
“People should really make sure things are empty, find alternative disposal areas if possible and just really concentrate on the fact there are people on the other end of this process. Whether it’s your transfer station operator, your trash truck driver, or someone who’s operating on the line here at Coastal Resources, we are really at the mercy of the residents that send us their trash,” Wright said.
To know exactly what you can and can’t recycle or traditionally throw out, call your local public works department or visit the waste section of Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s online website.