'Don't put grenades in your recycling' - Devon County Council warning

PUBLISHED: 12:41 21 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:59 21 January 2019

Smoke grenades found at Knowle Hill Recycling Centre, Exmouth. Picture: Devon Counrty Council

Smoke grenades found at Knowle Hill Recycling Centre, Exmouth. Picture: Devon Counrty Council

Archant

The evacuation of Exmouth recycling centre after grenade-like items were discovered was 'avoidable' and 'wasted valuable time and resources' according to the county council.

Smoke grenades found at Knowle Hill Recycling Centre, Exmouth. Picture: Devon County CouncilSmoke grenades found at Knowle Hill Recycling Centre, Exmouth. Picture: Devon County Council

The Royal Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unit was called in and the site was closed to the public for the rest of the day for what turned out to be three smoke grenades.

According to police, who were also called out, all three – one live and two spent – were safely removed from the centre by the EOD unit and disposed of by controlled explosion.

Devon County Council (DCC), which runs the facility, has warned people to think about what they are planning to take to the recycling centre.

A spokesman for the council said: “These closures have been avoidable and have wasted valuable time and resources of the police and bomb disposal teams, as well as recycling centre staff and have led to the inconvenience of other site users.

“Some people may consider something that’s been sat in their loft or garden shed for years as completely harmless, but it’s a question of perception, so we would like to remind people to check and think about what they’re planning to take to the recycling centre.

“Explosives, ammunition, flares and fireworks must not be taken to Devon Household Waste Recycling Centres.

“If you wish to dispose of ammunition or ordnance, whether potentially live or spent, or an item which could be reasonably be perceived as dangerous or of concern (e.g. weapons/firearms) please contact the police in the first instance.

“Otherwise it causes unnecessary disruption and inconvenience for other site users and, even more seriously, it can also put site staff and other customers at risk of harm.”

Exmouth inspector Antonia Weeks added: “We get lots of calls about unidentified objects that may be explosives.

“This is common in coastal areas where they get washed ashore over time, or in areas where there has been military activity in the past.

“Most are inert and present little risk however we always advise people to be cautious, not to disturb or move the item and call us.”

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