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Firefighters from Dunedin Central were called to reports of smoke coming from the waste disposal truck in Cumberland St about 8.30am today.
A Fire Service spokeswoman said two appliances dampened the rubbish down before following the truck to a nearby transfer station in Wickliffe St.
''They needed to remove the rubbish from the truck to extinguish it and it wasn't ideal to do that on Cumberland St,'' she said.
''They ended up escorting the truck back to the transfer station. Where they removed the rubbish from the truck and extinguished it.
''They did that with the help of police.''
It was unclear what caused the blaze, but it provided a timely reminder to residents to check all rubbish before putting it out for collection.
''Be cautious what you put in your rubbish bag for collection because things like hot ashes do ignite very easily for several days,'' the spokeswoman said.
''Be careful what is included in your rubbish for removal.''