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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU

CAUSE-ORIENTED INVESTIGATION OF THE FIRE INCIDENTS IN AUSTRIAN WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

  • Thomas Nigl - Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Department of Environmental and Energy Process Engineering, Austria
  • Wolfgang Rübenbauer - Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Department of Environmental and Energy Process Engineering, Austria
  • Roland Pomberger - Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Department of Environmental and Energy Process Engineering, Austria

DOI 10.31025/2611-4135/2019.13872

Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2019 CISA Publisher

Editorial History

  • Received: 12 Jul 2019
  • Revised: 11 Nov 2019
  • Accepted: 18 Nov 2019
  • Available online: 06 Dec 2019

Abstract

In many European and North American countries, stakeholders and interest groups endeavour to improve fire prevention in the industry of waste management, disposal and recycling. Despite the industry’s commitment to increasing safety and fire prevention measures, incidents have peaked in recent years, causing numerous problems: Environmental pollution, potential loss of resources, facility infrastructure and contractual partners, even higher insurance rates and deductibles. The most severe consequence which is recently spreading is the looming peril of a total loss of insurance cover. This paper discusses the comprehensive results of the survey and analysis of 285 fire incidents in the waste industry of Austria that have occurred within the recent decade. First, the historical development and reasons for the current increase in waste fires are stated, revealing waste-specific fire patterns such as self-ignition and the expanding range of potential ignition sources. Second, the statistical correlation between the probability of fire incidents and seasonal or climatic factors is shown. Third, the paper presents specific findings regarding the most commonly affected waste streams as well as the distribution patterns of ignition sources and causes. For example, most fire incidents occur in storage and transport areas (52.6% and 22.8%). Finally, probable driving forces are indicated and the potential development of risks and hazards from future waste fires are shown. The paper reveals a fundamental understanding of the conditions and incipiency of fires in waste management, disposal and recycling as well as gaps in our present knowledge that compellingly require further research.

Keywords


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