Did You Know that burning garbage in burn barrels is far more hazardous than previously thought? The composition of garbage has dramatically changed in the last generation; far more plastics are in it than 50 years ago. Because of this fact, more harmful chemicals are being released into the atmosphere.
But that's not the whole problem... Low-temperature fires — such as those in burn barrels — release a variety of toxic substances including heavy metals, particulates, and dioxin. Since burn barrels do not completely incinerate the material, the ash and smoke can settle more quickly on nearby lands. This residue that settles onto the ground contains harmful chemicals such as Dioxin that can be taken up by plants and produce. Toxic substances in the ash can also leach in to the soil or water table.
We encourage you to look into other ways to dispose of your garbage. Especially since much of the material frequently burned in a burn barrel is Recyclable! For more information please contact your local Solid Waste Office. Click the following link for an informational brochure.