The incident in Christchurch Road, Worthing, saw binmen empty the contents of the lorry into the road after spotting the blaze while on their daily rounds just before 9am this morning.
The cause of the fire is said to be a household battery which ignited after being thrown out with general waste.
Christchurch Road was closed while the fire was extinguished by crews from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. Teams from the council also cleared the rubbish from the road.
A spokesperson for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said: “We were called at 8.52am to reports of a fire involving a refuse collection vehicle on Christchurch Road in Worthing.
“Firefighters working with the bin men removed the waste from the vehicle to allow them to bring the fire under control, and to prevent it spreading further or causing damage to the vehicle.
“They remained on scene damping down the waste to ensure there were no further hotspots, then assisted with the removal of the waste.
“Fortunately there were no casualties as a result of this incident. The last crew left the scene at 10.34am.”
A spokesperson from Adur and Worthing Council said that no one was injured in the fire and the truck suffered minimal damage.
The council has now urged residents to carefully dispose of household batteries.
Household batteries are considered a major fire hazard and should not be put in general waste and cannot be recycled.
The council spokesperson continued: “Old batteries thrown out in the household waste can be extremely dangerous, which is why they need to be disposed of properly at recycling sites or in battery collection bins at major shops.
“Thankfully the bin crew were able to take swift action to prevent a fire in the lorry, which could have resulted in far more serious consequences.”