THE council has issued an urgent warning after a laughing gas cannister exploded in a bin lorry in the Bradford district.

Bradford Council has posted on its Facebook page to inform people about disposing of nitrous oxide cannisters - often referred to as laughing gas.

The cannisters - which come in a variety of sizes - should not be put in normal bins as this can cause serious danger for binmen.

One crew was compacting waste in their refuse vehicle and a cannister that had been put into household bin exploded.

A spokesperson for Bradford Council said: "Please do not put nitrous oxide cannisters like the ones pictured in any of your bins as they are extremely dangerous when compacted in the wagon.

"One of these cannisters recently exploded in one of our refuse vehicles which could have had serious consequences for the crew and vehicle."

The cannisters in the picture shared by the council include small silver pellet style cannisters - which have been seen littered across Bradford in recent years, including by the River Aire in Ilkley - blue "Smartwhips" and more industrial sized cannisters.

Those wishing to dispose of cannisters properly can take the "Smartwhip" bottles to the recycling centre at Low Moor, while the plants at Bowling Back Lane and Royd Ings, in Keighley will accept the other two styles (the silver pellets and large gas holders).

Laughing gas has become popularised as a recreational drug over the last few years and is often inhaled from cannisters through balloons.

There have been calls in the past to introduce a law to criminalise the possession of laughing gas.