COLORADO SPRINGS — Taking precautions to prevent fires is important all year round but even more crucial during the hot, dry summer months when wildfires spread quickly.

“The single most important thing each of us can do to help prevent a fire from inadvertently igniting in a trash cart at the curb, inside a collection truck down the road, or at a waste processing site across town, is to never put hot, hazardous or highly combustible items in any trash or recycling carts,” said Larry McCormick, WM area safety director. “Wise waste habits go a long way to helping keep the overall community and our frontline workers safe.”

When extreme summer heat beats down or materials are compacted inside a garbage truck, a fire can spark and ignite surrounding materials such as paper and cardboard. If fire accelerants are also present, such as motor oil-soaked cardboard or aerosol paint cans, a blaze can explode and spread rapidly through a truck.

Fires that burn in trash and recycling trucks and at waste processing facilities tend to spread quickly, burn extremely hot, and pose serious dangers to the adjacent community, truck drivers and waste workers. For this reason, WM has provided a checklist of items never to dispose of in the trash.

CHECKLIST: Waste Fire Prevention

Never put any of the following materials into trash or recycling carts. Properly dispose of hazardous waste and e-waste at community collection events or contact WM to ask if At Your Door Special Collection Service is available in your area.

Aerosol Cans (paint, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc.)

  • Alcohol (beverages, medicinal, hand sanitizer gels)
  • Batteries (vehicle batteries, battery buttons, Lithium batteries, Lithium-Ion batteries)
  • Charcoal / Ashes (unless cooled for 48 hours and dowsed with water)
  • Compressed Gas Tanks (such as propane and oxygen)
  • Drain Openers
  • Electronics (TVs, cell phones, computers, laptops, monitors, etc.)
  • Gasoline
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • Lighters (cigarette, cigar, firepit, etc.)
  • Lighter Fluid (including charcoal lighter fuel, garden torch fuel, etc.)
  • Motor Oil
  • Paints, Varnishes and Solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaners

In some communities, WM can pick up electronics, paints, garden chemicals, motor oil and more right from your home. WM’s At Your Door Special Collection is a service they offer to residents to make it easy to properly dispose of potentially hazardous household materials.

To verify that At Your Doo service is available in your area and schedule a collection, visit or call 1-800-449-7587.