Garbage truck dumps burning trash on road

A large plume of smoke billowed down Brook Hollow Drive in Orange County's Meadow Woods neighborhood on Tuesday morning.  Alejandro Lamoso captured video of a large garbage fire in front of his driveway.

“My dad knocked on the door to my room saying ‘hey get out, there's a fire outside,’” Lamoso said.  

When he rushed out the door he saw a large load of trash on fire that had been dumped in the middle of the road, with thick, smelly smoke coming from it.  

Firefighters were on scene within minutes, hosing down the flames and smoke.  Lamoso says he and his dad spoke to the driver of the Advanced Disposal garbage truck to find out what happened.  

“The guy said when he was driving he heard like and explosion inside his truck.  His protocol is to dump it so it doesn't get worse,” Lamoso recalled of their conversation.  “He said that usually he puts it somewhere away from everybody, but it looks like he didn't have time.”

The driver dumped the trash in the widest area of the street he could find, in the middle of where one neighborhood street intersected at a three way stop.  

For a few hours, neighbors had to slowly maneuver their way around the smelly mess.  Later another truck from Advanced Disposal came out to pick up the mess.  Then a crew came out to pressure wash the roadway, to get most of the smell left behind by the garbage to go away.

A spokesperson for Advanced Disposal tells The News Station that “hot loads” are becoming more common industry wide.  He says his driver followed protocol by immediately dumping the load in the safest place he could find.  

Advanced Disposal says that hot ashes and coals should never be put in the trash.  Neither should hazardous products like: paint, varnish, pesticides and pool chemicals.  That spokesperson says that lithium ion batteries have been known to spark fires in the back of trash trucks.  He says they should never be thrown away with normal garbage, that they are likely to catch fire when they come into contact with liquid.  

The cause of Tuesday’s “hot load” has not yet been identified.