Shock as live rifle and shotgun rounds found dumped in general waste at Sleaford tip

The county council is issuing a warning to residents not to bin live ammunition after unused rifle bullets and shotgun cartridges were dumped in with general waste at a tip in Sleaford.

The shocking discovery by council waste transfer station workers. EMN-220413-125703001
The shocking discovery by council waste transfer station workers. EMN-220413-125703001

The boxes of unspent rounds were spotted yesterday (Tuesday) by a worker at the waste transfer station in Sleaford, where the town’s household bins are emptied and taken on for recycling or incineration to be turned into energy.

They are believed to have been among a container of general waste brought in from the town’s neighbouring household waste recycling centre (tip) on Pride Parkway and had likely been in a bag that split open, say officials.

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The subsonic hollow point bullets were in a box marked for use in a Winchester .22 rifle.

the .22 bullets were for a Winchester rifle. EMN-220413-125713001

Simon Bell, waste services officer at Lincolnshire County Council, explained: “Live ammunition can pose a real threat to our staff and the public if it’s not discarded properly. Waste gets compacted, which could cause the ammunition to go off.

“As general waste in Lincolnshire is incinerated to make electricity, if unspent ammo makes it to the energy from waste plant it could cause issues there too.

“Luckily the site team spotted these bullets and they weren’t damaged, so they could be removed and dealt with safely.”

Lincolnshire Police were called and officers took the bullets away for safe disposal.

Dozens of rifle rounds spilled out of a bag of waste discovered by waste centre workers. EMN-220413-125723001

A council spokesman added that the Energy from Waste plant has metal detectors to pick out any metals to be removed before burning and the incinerator is a closed unit to contain any explosions, but the ammunition could have gone off when it was compacted at the transfer station or in a bin lorry.

If you have live, unspent ammunition to dispose of, you are advised to call the police non-emergency number 101 for advice.

The authority says it is not that common to discover live ammunition in Lincolnshire’s general waste. However, batteries, electrical items and lighters can also be hazardous if they are simply binned and can lead to fires in lorries or at the tip, as has been reported in the past.

A cigarette lighter half full of fuel was extracted from the same batch of waste as the ammunition.

Bullets and a cigarette lighter found in waste at Sleaford waste transfer station. EMN-220413-125733001

Find advice on how to dispose of different items at

Shotgun rounds and rifle bullets found in rubbish at Sleaford tip. EMN-220413-125743001