The incident occurred when a crew from Stroud District Council’s waste and recycling partner, Ubico, was collecting recycling earlier this month.

After the contents of a bin had been deposited and compacted, the crew heard an explosion and saw smoke coming from the back of the truck.

The driver immediately closed the vehicle `hopper’ to reduce the oxygen in the space, pulled over, and called the emergency services.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service attended shortly after and extinguished the fire, which was thought to have been caused by a discarded battery or e-cigarette.

A Ubico spokesperson said: ‘If it wasn’t for the quick action of the crew this could have been a much more serious incident, putting the lives of the crew and members of the public at risk and causing costly damage to the truck.

‘Hundreds of fires are caused by crushed or damaged batteries and gas cylinders incorrectly discarded in waste and recycling trucks and recycling centres across the UK every year.’

Cllr Chloe Turner, Stroud District Council’s chair of Environment Committee said: ‘Batteries, vapes and electrical items should never be put in household waste or recycling containers. They can explode and cause fires when crushed, so need to be disposed of separately.’

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