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Ash Disposal When Garbage Not An Answer

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by EastMtn, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

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    The garbage disposal company sent out a flyer reiterating that they do not take any ashes hot or cold bagged or loose. I live in a pine forest so spreading the ashes or using them in a compost is out of the question because of ph. I hear from some that ashes on the driveway works as a good snow melt but others say no. Also when the snow melted it would just wash into the pines anyway. What are some other options to dispose of ashes?

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  2. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Yikes!! Never heard of this situation. You might have to get a barrel/dumpster and ship them to me;)
  3. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

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    COD of course. LOL! Then again, I had to get a special permit to transport my late wife's ashes across state lines. Don't even get me started about the funeral racketeering in this country.
  4. The Grintch

    The Grintch Member

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    What about digging a hole and putting the ashes in it. My buddy burnt a little over 3 tons last year and said the ashes didn't even fill a 5 gallon bucket. You could have a designated ash-hole:)

    Sweat stove!!!
  5. pdf27

    pdf27 Member

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    Why? Pine trees grow best in acidic soil, while wood ash is somewhat alkaline. If anything, that sounds like the ideal fertilizer for normal plants around your house. Do you not have a garden/lawn of any sort, just pine trees or something?
    Compost isn't normally a good option for wood ash AIUI, but I can't see why spreading it on cultivated soil would be a problem, provided you don't overdo it. That would appear to be the soil type which would benefit most from them!
    Joful, briansol and StihlHead like this.
  6. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    +1 above...

    I have a lot of large mature pine trees and I scatter my wood ash under them in the layer of pine needles. I also use the ash on my blueberries, and under most of my trees here. Wood ash is an excellent source for potassium, AKA: potash. A little goes a long way, so I use a shovel to scatter a thin layer, usually before a rainstorm. I also use it as fines on my long gravel driveway.
  7. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

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    Thanks for the responses.
    While pines do better in alkaline environments, NM soil is already highly alkaline and naturally potassium enriched so ash is not recommended. ph well over 7.0. Lawns are not allowed in my area because of HOA rules in an attempt to keep the area as close to indigenous as possible. Trees are only to be cut for fire safety or to allow large enough footprint to build your house and gain access to the main road. I do have 6 fruit trees but I'm already at the upper alkalinity and potassium levels.
    This is from the NM State University agriculture dept:
    "The usual answer to questions about using wood ash to enrich soil in New Mexico is -- DON'T DO IT! This material (potassium) increases the salt content of our already salty New Mexico soils. Most New Mexico soils are not deficient in potassium."
  8. Stevekng

    Stevekng Feeling the Heat

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    Mix with water and make squirrel sculptures for tourists.;)
    Defiant likes this.
  9. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    You may try contacting a local gardening group maybe they would want it.

    If it were me I would just spread it out or throw it in the trash. Yea I know thats not what you want to hear.
  10. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

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    Hmmmm...I think they are saying that you would be fighting a losing battle to purposely add ash to make the soil better. However, if you have a few ashes from a pellet stove, I just can't see that doing any real harm. Assuming you have a decent sized lot, spreading them evenly would be like putting water in the ocean. My $0.02.
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Being a trouble maker I'd get a large metal trash can, put the ash in the can, and when it is full I'd send it to the HOA president with a "What do I do with this?" tag attached. They usually have an answer for everything.

    In the alternative you could dig a hole toss some azalea fertilizer in it then the ash and dirt, mix it up well, and call it good enough. Oh, if your state has a dig safe program don't forget to call them ahead of time so they can mark any buried utility lines.
  12. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    Hmmmmm
    We have tons of firs here on the property, I just toss the stuff on the ground in the side yard and let the rain wash it in.

    I can't see any real issue with this form of disposal, as your not doing tons of the stuff.

    I see why the disposal company does not want it, there is a fire hazard, and they don't want to deal with it.

    Some local enviro rules may take issue with the fact that its an alkali
  13. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

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    When there is snow on the ground I go out back and let them fly near the garden. When there isn't snow I dump them in the metal wood stove ash can. Don't usually see hot embers in the pellet ash.

    Ashes from the wood stove go into a metal can then are dealt with when good and cold.
  14. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

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    I think I've found my happy place. The trouble maker/mad scientist::-) part of my brain took over and says since I'm on the downhill slope of 1-2 acres I should spread the ashes while snow is still on the ground, and when the snow melts, see if it affects the neighbors behind me one of which happens to be the HOA president. The lot has a natural runoff on the side of the house
    Also, I have a septic system with a large leech field, would putting ashes on top of that affect the surrounding area?
    Joful, smoke show and SmokeyTheBear like this.
  15. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Treat it as hazardous waste and dump it at the town depot on collection day.
  16. Stevekng

    Stevekng Feeling the Heat

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    When the snow melts, the ash is still there. Rain will wash it away after that. At least that's the way my ash pile works. That's right folks, I have a ginyoueye'n ash pile out younder behind the pun'kin patch. Hain't killed much so fer.
  17. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl Minister of Fire

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    Ash can be mixed with horse manure to make it less acidic when composting. Know anyone with horses?

    I think I would check with the local horticultural society to see if they are interested too.
  18. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I take my ash once cool and literally scatter it about. The wind will carry much of it away and the plants don't seem to mind.
  19. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

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    My wife is a large animal vet so she interacts with a lot of ranches. There's also a botanical garden nearby. Plenty of options now. Thanks everyone.
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    It won't hurt the leach field and if some eventually makes it to the HOA president's lot, oh well.

    The reason I mentioned the azalea food is that it will neutralize the alkalizing potential (liming action) of the wood ash.

    ETA: I dump mine on the dirt capped, snow covered compost pile in the winter, when it gets to the point I don't want to wade through the snow anymore it gets dumped in the snow along the edge of the driveway and is added to the compost piles later. It doesn't go to waste.
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    See another trouble maker, there's lots of us on here. I think it is a requirement for membership. Just stay away from the whole tree burners they are a really weird bunch.
    smoke show likes this.
  22. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Who me?
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  23. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

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    I went by the transfer station this morning after work and asked if they took ashes. Turns out they take them only in plastic bags as proof that the ashes are cool. Looks like I've found my country song.
  24. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Take this Ash and Shove It?
    EastMtn likes this.
  25. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

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    Hey how'd you get a hold of my mix CD?

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