Alternatives to Burning

Burn barrels are illegal ... they were banned in Washington state April of 2000.

What is outdoor burning?

Outdoor burning is the combustion of material of any type in an open fire or in an outdoor container without providing for the control of combustion or the control of emissions from the combustion.

The outdoor burning regulations do not cover silvicultural, agricultural, or any outdoor burning on lands within the exterior boundaries of Indian Reservations. (WAC 173-425 and SWCAA 425)

Specifically the outdoor burning regulations apply to residential, land clearing, storm and flood debris, tumbleweed burning, weed abatement fires, fire fighting instruction fires, rare and endangered plant regeneration fires, Indian ceremonial fires, recreational fires, and other outdoor burning.

Are there alternatives to burning?

There are many alternatives to burning. Chipping, shredding, composting and other methods are out there to help reduce yard trimmings. Many cities have curbside pickup within the No Burn area.

Composting is the most practical and convenient way to handle your yard wastes. It can be easier and cheaper than bagging these wastes or taking them to the transfer station. Compost also improves your soil and the plants growing in it. If you have a garden, a lawn, trees, shrubs, or even planter boxes, you have a use for compost.

By using compost you return organic matter to the soil in a useable form. Organic matter in the soil improves plant growth by helping to break heavy clay soils into a better texture, by adding water and nutrient holding capacity to sandy soils, and by adding essential nutrients to any soil. Improving your soil is the first step toward improving the health of your plants. Healthy plants help clean our air and conserve our soil.

What can I compost?

Any vegetable matter can be composted. Yard wastes, such as fallen leaves, grass clippings, weeds and the remains of garden plants, make excellent compost. Used as a mulch for paths, they will eventually decompose and become compost. Care must be taken when composting kitchen scraps. Meat, bones, and fatty foods (such as cheese, salad dressing, and leftover cooking oil) should be put in the garbage.