How to Use a Garden Incinerator

Garden incinerators, also known as garden burners or small incinerators, are useful tools for disposing of dry garden waste. When used correctly, they can be an efficient way to manage yard debris. This guide will walk you through the process of using a garden incinerator safely and effectively.

Choosing the Right Location

  1. Select a flat, open area away from buildings, fences, and overhanging branches.
  2. Ensure the spot is at least 10 feet away from any structures or flammable materials.
  3. Check local regulations regarding outdoor burning before proceeding.

Preparing Your Garden Incinerator

  1. Place your small incinerator on a non-flammable surface like concrete or bare earth.
  2. If your incinerator has air vents, make sure they’re open to allow proper airflow.
  3. If it’s windy, position the incinerator so that smoke blows away from your home and neighbours.

What to Burn

  • Dry leaves
  • Small twigs and branches
  • Plant trimmings
  • Paper garden waste

Note: Never burn wet materials, treated wood, plastics, or household waste in your garden incinerator.

Steps for Safe Burning

  1. Start with a small amount of dry, easily combustible material like paper or small twigs.
  2. Light the material using a long-handled lighter or matches.
  3. Once the fire is established, gradually add larger pieces of dry garden waste.
  4. Don’t overfill the incinerator; leave room for air circulation.
  5. Use a poker or garden fork to occasionally stir the contents, ensuring even burning.

Monitoring and Maintaining the Fire

  1. Always supervise the incinerator while it’s in use.
  2. Keep a water source or fire extinguisher nearby for safety.
  3. Add new material gradually to maintain a steady burn.
  4. If smoke becomes excessive, the waste may be too wet or green. In this case, stop adding new material and let the current contents burn down.

Extinguishing and Cleaning Up

  1. Allow the fire to burn out naturally, if possible.
  2. If you need to extinguish it quickly, close all air vents and use water or sand.
  3. Once the ashes are completely cool, they can be used as a fertiliser in your garden.
  4. Clean out your garden incinerator regularly to maintain its efficiency.

Safety Precautions

  • Never use flammable liquids to start or encourage a fire.
  • Keep children and pets away from the incinerator.
  • Wear gloves and appropriate clothing when handling the incinerator or adding waste.
  • Be mindful of smoke and its impact on neighbours.
  • Check weather conditions and avoid burning on very windy days.

By following these guidelines, you can safely and effectively use your garden incinerator to manage your yard waste. Remember to always prioritise safety and be considerate of your surroundings when burning garden debris.