Trash burning vs. Landfilling

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rwinsouthla, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 23, 2005
    South Louisiana
    Read Rosegarden's thread on burning and it got me to thinking. I burn trash AND I use the pickup service. The pickup service does not take anything that won't fit into the big bin. Soooo, if the bin gets filled up, I don't want bags laying around that the dogs can get into and I burn it.

    It got me to it better to landfill the trash so the noxious fumes created in burning plastic, styrofoam, rubber, etc don't get into the atmosphere, or is it better to burn it? Seems one way, we fill up the landfill. That's bad. The other way, we burn it, and we fill the air with fumes. That's bad too. What do ya'll do and what is your conviction for doing it?

    Burn it or bag it?
  2. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    We burn. I know that enviromentalist would hate me but oh well. We mostly burn paper products. We save up some things that cannot burn and we take it to the seasonal trash pickup for the township (once in spring and once in fall)and get rid of it for free. I have to burn about every 3 days because it will start to attract animals. I dont believe burning my trash is more harmful than driving vehicles around.

    I would much rather burn than to know I am contributing at a fast rate the size of land fills. We live by a few and they are so unsightly and i Have to think about how much of that stuff could have been burned down first and saved a lot of space

  3. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Feb 24, 2003
    Truth I'm guilty but if you go out buy Packaged stuff its a No Win situation.

    I use to haul 6 Loads of Trash to the Landfill a day.Around 70,000 a load.And there was hundreds of other Trucks hauling the same.

    big rockpile
  4. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

    Sep 10, 2005
    Personally, I think it's probablly better to burn, but we use a trash service since there is so much in the trash that won't burn like diapers, food cans, anything wet, etc. We use to burn but it became such a pain because you just never can burn it all the way down to nothing and you end up with a bunch of junk that has to go to the dump anyway. :shrug:
  5. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

    Dec 19, 2005
    West Central WI.
    I burn everything that is burnable. And if it is hard to start I just add some Kerosene to get it going good and hot.
  6. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2002
    We burn our trash...anything that will burn. Our glass and cans are sorted and taken to local recycling center when we go to town. We save all paper/catalogs and take them,too. Magazines I take to the nursing home. The very mninimal garbage we have,mostly bones we burn. Most scraps go to chickens or the compost pile. We try to avoid buying anything in plastic if we can but it gets harder and harder to do. Cooking most things from scratch really cuts down on your trash. DEE
  7. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

    Jun 16, 2002
    South Central Kansas
    I am a believer in trash incineration instead of land filling.

    The county sized incineration units are not just trash burners, but actually incinerate trash to ash. Forced air, high temperature operation, and scrubbers take most of the pollutants out of the process. Enough heat is generated that many such units drive steam turbines to produce electricity.

    I really believe our landfills will come back to bite us whereas burning wouldn't.

    I much regret the decision of my county two decades ago to use landfill rather than combustion. Every few years we now buy more land to pile trash in and on.
    The least they could do is build a mound big enough to skiing upon.
  8. shelljo

    shelljo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 1, 2005
    SW KS--Cowboy country
    Windy, you'd have to actually have snow first!

    We burn, recycle and take what we can't burn to the land fill. We go once a month or so. But I hate going to the landfill, all that C&D--those 2 x 4's, scrap lumber, left over packages of shingles. I can't stand seeing that perfectly useable material get covered up and buried. Please, let me take it home. I can use it!
  9. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Sep 26, 2005
    i don't burn plastics. i will burn wood or paper refuse but i will not burn plastics. one thing that fills up land fills quickly is paper and organic waste like lawn clippings etc. plastic bags and packaging compresses more that you may think. it is better off in the landfill. if folks would recycle plastic, glass and metal cans like they should, there would be more room at the landfills for "true" refuse. many paper products can be recycled as well.

    if you were to dig into a 30 year old landfill, one thing you would be able to do is take a paper from the middle of a bundle of newspapers and catch-up on 30 year old news. those things take forever to decompose when in a stack, believe it or not.

    i seperate all of my containers for recycling. all cans, bottles and jugs are recycled. all of my paper waste goes into the woodstove to burn on chilly mornings or saved to start fires in the winter.

    it takes a "real" incinerator to cleanly burn plastics without polluting the environment. a burn barrel or pile will not do it. also, beyond polluting the air, the ashes that remain contaminate the soil they get spread on. some folks seem to think ashes are ashes and they are clean. do yourself and your family's future generations a favor and don't spread those ashes around your property.

    if you burn or recycle the paper stuff and recycle the containers, you would be surprised how very little is left to take to the landfill.
  10. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2003
    Western WA
    We use paper to start the woodstove, put cardboard on the garden to kill weeds and recycle cans etc. The rest goes to the dump. We don't have trash pickup, we take it ourselves. Much cheaper. Luckily our county has an incinerator so we don't have to put anything in a landfill. Even so, we really try keep our trash to a minimum. Its just kills me to see what good stuff people throw away and unfortunately we can't trash pick at our dump. Although DH has been known to ask people if he can have something before they toss it in the dumpster. :) He got a great table saw that way. Guy got a new one and was just tossing the old one because he said it wasn't working right. All it needed was a little adjustment, took about 10 minutes to fix.
  11. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

    Oct 15, 2005
    Near Traverse City Michigan
    we recycle everything that the recyclers will take. The problem is there are many plastics they wont take. We burn what the recyclers wont take. When our burn barrels get full we take them to the landfill. The wood ashes from our wood furnace go on the fields.
  12. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Reduce, reuse, recycle.

    We buy stuff with as little packaging as possible, recycle what we can, reuse what we can, etc. We burn paper products that can't be recycled or reused. Plant matter goes into the compost. There is very little left after that. I have about one garbage bag a month that goes to the landfill. We are fortunate though that we have excellent recycling facilities. We can recycle tons of stuff (newspaper, magazines, junk mail, cardboard, cereal box types, cans, almost all hard plastic including styrofoam) which helps a lot.
  13. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2005
    We recycle our plastic, paper, cardboard and aluminum. Our recycling center is located next to our library, so we take it whenever we go to the library (usually weekly). The rest goes out with the trash. We're not allowed to burn here during the months of May-September so burning is out during those months.
  14. SW Ohio

    SW Ohio Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2002
    Environmental, legal, or ethical stuff aside:

    As far as burning it seems to me that it is more how you do it than what you do that leads to most of the complaints. Burning over near the neighbors house, on a day that the wind blows towards them, is inconsiderate at best. Plus, a good hot fire is more efficiant at air contaminant reduction than a burn that is left to smolder. And please, tend the fire and have a means to put it out if need be.

    Just some thoughts on a touchy subject.


    Oh yeah, to answer the question I do both. Bag the non compostables, plastics and glass (d*rn curbside pick up is never picked up), recycle the aluminum ouselves, recycle cardboard and newspaper (minus slicks) through the chicken house and garden. Burn some paper and non-painted wood wastes in the fireplace or campfires.
  15. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Feb 3, 2003
    Central NY
    Yes, you're right.
    We used to burn a lot, but when I learned about the toxins that not only remain in the ashes, but are also carried up in the smoke and airborn particles, we stopped.
    The ground surrounding a typical burning barrel, even from burning paper and junk mail, is too poisonous with dioxin to allow the animals to graze on...

    We're down to burning only our cleanest paper. Junk mail goes to the recycler.
    I tear off the part with our personal info and burn just that now, along with only our very personal papers...
  16. Marilyn

    Marilyn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 2, 2006
    We recycle and compost at our house and rarely have more than a plastic grocery sack of trash per week. Under no circumstances would I consider burning it. A neighbor across the road burns on a regular basis and has ruined many a sweet summer night's sleep.
  17. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    The landfills create gas that some continualy burn out stacks. Indiana is in the early stages of constructing 12 new ethonal plants. One about 17 miles north of me is to be ajacent to a monster landfill. They report that they will be using the otherwise wasted landfill gas in their alcohol production.
    Sometimes we win - Sometimes we loose - Sometimes we aren't even in the ball park - Whether we win or loose, don't eat them hotdogs.
  18. JHinCA

    JHinCA Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2003
    Try and get that through my 86 yr old dad's head!! I empty his burning barrel of toxic plastic ashes, the occasional can lid, broken glass, melted plastic etc. He tells me its "nature's way" to spread all that toxic filth on the ground!! We have trash and recycling pick up now and I sort all their garbage for them, but he still finds things to burn when I'm not looking!

    And don't get me started on both my parents belief that "over the fence" is some kind of black hole into which anything tossed disappears--never mind that DH is likely to find whatever it was with the mower. Oh well, I guess I should just be grateful they are both still with us and healthy enough to be tossing things "over the fence".
  19. mayfair

    mayfair a yard full of chickens

    May 7, 2006
    Our neighbors have ruined many a summer afternoon by burning plastic bags in thier fireplace on a stagnant air day. There' nothing like sitting in your house sweltering with the windows closed when it's 85 degrees and lung-burning smoke is filling the yard. It really is toxic and unbreathable.
  20. Pink_Carnation

    Pink_Carnation Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    Western Washington

    Don't you remember the old slogan they had I think in the 70's

    The solution to polution is dillution :eek: