As much of a problem as this is for city and village dwellers, this has always been a problem for people who live in remote areas where the options for disposing of trash are more limited. There may seem to be a very easy option of just dumping trash in an unused part of the property. Though this may seem logical, it can run into legal and sanitary problems.
What is a Burn Barrel
What many homeowners in remote areas have found is that burning of trash is the easiest and most convenient way to dispose of unwanted, disposable, and throwaway garbage. As obvious as this solution may be, there are specific steps that have to be followed for the process to not be dangerous or hazardous.
The first step is to get a burn barrel, which is exactly as the name implies a place to burn trash. This useful method for eliminating unwanted waste can easily be found in the standard 55-gallon drum size that is available in multiple locations.
There are certain things that need to be checked when purchasing a burn barrel. An important part of any burn barrel is the amount of ventilation, which is necessary for air to enter and force smoke out of the barrel. Ventilation is located at the bottom of the barrel where holes have been drilled in the side of the barrel.
Another important part of a burn barrel is a covering, which has to be perforated enough to allow the airflow and smoke to exit. The other function of the cover is to block large pieces of ignited waste from escaping. A properly designed covering allows smoke and small pieces that are specs or dust to leave the barrel without any fear setting buildings or plants in the area on fire.
Though 55-gallon drums are used for other purposes, ones that are used for burn barrels have been thoroughly cleaned of any potentially dangerous substances. This is one of the first steps that producers take when fabricating their products for the safety of customers. Various chemicals and solvents are used to ensure a thorough cleaning.
Positioning a Burn Barrel
Next, the burn barrel must be placed on a pedestal of twelve inches or more off the ground. This can be done with cinder blocks, bricks, pieces of metal, or some other form of nonflammable material. The pedestal should be placed on level ground, unable to tip, and completely level at least 30 feet from any buildings or structures. The area around it should not contain any type of potentially flammable materials.
A wise precaution is to place the burn barrel in an empty field. Though it may not be necessary to completely clear all foliage, it would be a good idea to limit the size of the plants in the area as an additional safety precaution. As convenient as burn barrels may be, it is important to be rigorous in safety precautions to avoid any potential dangers.
Selection of Materials to be Burned in a Burn Barrel
At this point, it may seem that it is time to begin burning waste. There is one more step that has to be taken, which is the separation of trash and determining what can be burned. The separation process begins where the waste is collected. Burnable items should be separated from items that may produce dangerous gases, are volatile, or pose an atmospheric hazard. Any form of chemical material such as paints and oils should not be disposed of in a burn barrel. Strict attention should be given to what can and cannot be burned.
The Burning Process for Burn Barrels
When burning waste, the amount of the load in the burn barrel should be carefully controlled such that the barrel is not overloaded and will not produce sizable flames. The burning process should be well managed at a distance from the barrel with waste to be burned loaded in small, regulated quantities.