Hastings District Council is urging people not to put hazardous waste in wheelie bins or general rubbish after three incidents since the start of the month.
This week one of the rubbish collectors saw an LPG bottle while emptying a wheelie bin into his truck and was able to hit the emergency stop button before the bottle was crushed by the compactor.
If he hadn't, there could have been an "explosion and potential injury, or worse," the council said.
It's one of three of similar incidents since the start of the month - one each in Hastings, Flaxmere and Havelock North.
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Hazardous waste includes gas bottles, butane cylinders, batteries and aerosol cans which aren't empty which should not be put into the bins or general rubbish.
Gas bottles and batteries can be recycled for free at the Henderson Rd Transfer Station and the council's annual Hazmobile event later this year also allows for the disposal of such waste.