Temperatures across the Snowy Monaro are already plummeting towards their winter lows, and residents across the region are stoking up their wood heaters and fireplaces.
Council reminds residents that the ash from wood burning can stay hot for a surprisingly long time, and must be completely cold before being wrapped and disposed of in kerbside bins.
Damage caused to bins by improperly disposed of hot ash can be a costly mistake. Each bin is worth hundreds of dollars, and if damaged, organising a replacement from Council is the financial responsibility of the resident.
In 2019 hot ash caused a large fire in the back of one of Council’s rubbish trucks. This incident was thankfully brought under control by emergency services quickly, but the costs of repairs and collection delays was substantial.
To avoid burns and fires remember to:
• Put hot ash in a suitable metal container with a lid
• Only half-fill your ash containers, allowing them to cool efficiently
• Make sure the lid is secure to starve smouldering ashes of oxygen, plus prevent sparks and embers escaping
• Regularly check and stir the ash container, adding water over the course of a few days to ensure any fire is fully extinguished
• Do not empty the ash container into the bin until 100% sure the ashes are cold
• Put your cold ashes in a bag before disposing of them into the red bin
For residents with a green thumb, wood ash can be used as a nutrient booster for compost and soil, as it contains a large amount of lime and potassium. Always exercise caution and restraint, and do your research beforehand, as wood ash does affect the alkalinity of both soil and compost.