A recycling centre in Devon was closed when a suspected WWII ‘tank mortar shell’ was discovered in a pile of scrap metal. The scrap is thought to have originated from within a pile of household rubbish brought in by a member of the public.
Such incidences are not uncommon, with people often thinking that disposing of an old metal shell or mortar casing via the recycling dump is an acceptable and sensible thing to do. However, even when such items are known to be empty and pose no danger to those handling them, they can lead to disruption. Who is going to risk shoving aside an old shell when they don’t know where it has originated from?
In this case, a Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit has been forced to attend the site, shutting down operations for several hours. Such delays are unnecessary and, no doubt, unappreciated by the owners.