Composting Grill Ashes: Is It Good To Compost Ashes?

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Composting Grill Ashes


Composting Grill Ashes: Is It Good To Compost Ashes?

We all know what composting is these days. With all the recent environmental awareness that encourages recycling and environmental issues, more people are trying to cut down the waste that they produce. And this is why they try to compost their own wastes, sometimes also including their BBQ grill ashes. Composting waste is nothing new; it is simply a method in which waste matter of any form is converted into manure through microbial activity. This can be done in various forms either by covering the wastes with natural ingredients such as that leaves, wood, or paper. A slower process could involve digging a hole in the ground and putting the waste into them. You may also like introducing earthworms to make the process even faster. Many people like to get rid of their waste in the garden if they happen to have one. However, many BBQ users might not be completely about what the results of composting BBQ ashes may be. If you want to learn whether you can compose your BBQ grill Ash, then simply read on as we break down all the rules that you need to follow.

Charcoal is a result of burnt wood. Since you can compost wood, you can also compost charcoal. There should be nothing harmful about composting charcoal which is a natural element found in nature. However, you need to be aware of two basic conditions before you compost your charcoal ashes. First of all, the charcoal should be of basic wood that has no added preservatives to make it burn. Any extra preservatives are not environment-friendly and so, they’re not suitable for the environment. For instance, the wood has a binder chemical that might remain in the environment long after burning away. The second condition is that wood that can be used to compost should be used up to a specific limit. According to science, for every foot of compost, only one cup of wood ash can be used. However, a large amount of wood can release a lot of nitrogen within the soil. The main suggestion is that you can definitely compost grill ashes but in limited quantities and not more.

As per the two conditions of dealing with charcoal ash, we can, therefore, compost the ash of coal made from pure wood only, and not any coal that has chemical binders and the sort. Usually, it is suggested that coal which is left over from barbecue or grill cannot be composed. This is because they do not contain only wood, but also a lot of other harmful chemicals that may bind with the environment and create gases that might stay in the environment. Another reason why grill or barbecue ashes are suggested not to be composted underground is that once there are put under the ground, too much of them can actually cause an imbalance of the soil PH, besides leading to the release of a lot of nitrogen within the soil.

Before you do anything you should always remember that charcoal or BBQ ashes should only be dealt with after they have cooled down entirely. After the ash is cooled they can be put together in any non-combustible container such as an old paint or coffee can or you can simply wrap the ashes in aluminum foil. This way you are actually reusing the materials which cannot be recycled easily. Later on, the foil paper or all the empty coffee or paint cans can later be left outside in the trash but not composted.

If you thought that you could spread the ashes outside or perhaps bury them underground or in your garden, then think again. You might be thinking the ashes will get absorbed on the ground but that is not exactly but that is not exactly what would happen. In fact, before you do anything with the ashes, you should always think where the ashes came from.

The ashes can actually be used as a very good fertilizer but only when they are fully organic. However, most charcoal ashes should not be spread in your garden or in your compost because that will do more harm than good. Many common brands of charcoal briquettes or ash from grill or barbecue actually contain a lot of chemical additives that can cause a problem if it is used as fertilizer in your garden. These negatively affect the pH of the soil and affect plant health. In some cases, plants may also die as a result of these ashes. Other than that, as these ashes break down in the soil, they may release harmful chemicals that pose a great risk to human beings and animals living nearby as a whole.

There are many forms of coal such as charcoal briquettes or simple lump coal. Charcoal briquettes, which is used all over the world, actually contains a lot of chemical additives that can make it a problem if you want to compost it.

Since most charcoal ashes contain not only wood but also include borax lighter fluid and fillers of different sorts, they can actually be very dangerous when you think of composting them. They can’t be used as fertilizer and affects the growth of plants and causes risks on human health. Although the chemical additives cause a lot of problems for the environment they are still used when making coal briquettes because they help to give the coal a definite shape and guarantee a consistent product.

If you want to look for alternatives to the coal briquettes, then simply purchase lump charcoals. Charcoal begins with scrap wood however harmful chemicals and not added when manufacturing this lump coal.

Lump charcoal is actually burnt wood and is very safe to add to your compost since the harmful chemicals are not there. Previously, only 7% of coal used were lump charcoal. However, the use of such coal has increased in the last 10 years. Now that you know all the benefits of using lump charcoal over Coal briquettes, you should try to use this coal the next time you think of cooking over a barbeque or grill, and later on, you can simply compost the ashes either in your garden on your compost bin.


Final words

Now you know all the benefits and risks of composting grill ashes. Besides that, you have also learned about the type of coal that contributes to harmful changes in the environment and causes harm to human as well as plant health. If you want to be able to compost your grill ashes then stick to lump coal as this possess less threat the environment as a whole.

To see our other articles about grill click here.

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