A BIN lorry driver had to dump a load of rubbish behind a residential street after noticing it was smoking.

The rubbish was dumped at the rear of Pleasant View, in Consett at around 10am on Tuesday.

Durham County Council apologised for any inconvenience but said it had been considered necessary for public safety and added that it had been cleared up.

James Lee, waste operations manager, said: “While working at this location our bin crew noticed smoke coming from the waste inside its wagon. A crew member used a fire extinguisher to tackle the smoke but this was unsuccessful.

“In the interests of the safety of people in the area and to prevent damage to the vehicle, the crew moved the wagon away from residential properties and the public highway and tipped the waste onto a disused tarmac area.

“After making sure the tipped waste was no longer giving off smoke and posed no threat to public safety, the crew contacted our Clean and Green team which cleared up all materials a short time later.

“Whilst we apologise for any inconvenience while dealing with this issue, the action was considered to be in the best interests of public safety.”