“Could’ve been a lot worse”: Lessons learned from Oakland recycling explosion


OAKLAND (KRON) — Tuesday’s explosion in Oakland knocked a California Waste Solutions driver to the ground.

The driver had just placed recycling materials in the crusher of his truck when a loud boom happened yesterday morning on Moss Avenue.

“This could have been a lot worse,” said Tasion Kwamilele, spokesperson with Waste Solutions Company.

Kwamilele told KRON4 nothing like this has happened before.

Oakland police and the Alameda County bomb squad determined what went off was not a bomb. The agencies never determined what exactly exploded.

But whatever it was was not paper, plastic or glass — items that belong in recycle bins.

“There was some form of hazardous material in the cart,” said Kwamilele.

Recycling happens all across the Bay Area, and waste solutions wants to use this incident to remind people what can and cannot be recycled, so this doesn’t happen again.

“Propane tank should not go in there. Batteries, large car batteries should not go in there,” Kwamilele said.

“Those are considered common hazardous materials — they should be bagged and dropped off.”

The driver is now out of the hospital and has no major injuries.

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