The Salutation Gardens » 16 Tips to Use a Garden Incinerator

16 Tips to Use a Garden Incinerator

Garden incinerators, probably, should never be the first choice when it comes to garden waste disposal. But sometimes, we’re left with no other options, don’t you think?

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In such cases, we should be as much careful and safe as possible. Fire can be exhausting to ignite and stabilize. But once it becomes intense, it can be sneaky.

From how to use the garden incinerators to various safety precautions, we’ve listed some brilliant tips on using garden incinerators in this post. So, if you’re planning on burning your garden waste this weekend, keep reading.

Tips to use a garden incinerator

1. Wear protective clothing

First and the most important tip would be to wear protective clothing before using a garden incinerator. You can wear garden gloves and boots to protect your hands and legs.

Moreover, make sure that the clothing you’re wearing doesn’t catch fire easily. As the fire in the incinerator can get quite intense and might even spark. So, you shall be fully covered and protected before using the incinerator.

2. Choose the location carefully

Choose the Incinerator location carefully
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Though the garden incinerator bins are small, they can prove to be hazardous if handled improperly. Thus, the location where you choose to burn your waste must be carefully chosen.

Ensure that you’re not using the incinerator near dry grass as they tend to catch and spread the fire quickly. Also, remember not to keep any other objects that catch fire quickly around the incinerator.

Moreover, if dry branches and twigs are hanging above the incinerator, change the location of the incinerator.

3. Ensure that your garden incinerator has legs

Ensure that your garden incinerator has legs
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Most incinerators have holes at the bottom, which allows efficient airflow within the incinerator. Thus, it’d be best if your incinerator is legged. However, if you don’t have a legged garden incinerator, we have a solution for you.

Raise the incinerator by placing four or more bricks at the bottom. The heights of the bricks must be almost equal, or else, the incinerator will tilt and might even fall down. The motive is to make the setup as sturdy as possible.

4. Make sure that the incinerator is standing on a flat surface

Tripping and falling down a burning incinerator can lead to a hazardous situation, especially if dry grasses are nearby. So, always make sure to double-check if the incinerator is standing sturdily on the ground.

In order to ensure that the surface is flat, you can rest your garden incinerator on a paving slab.

5. Keep a watering can on hand

As we all know, safety first! Fire can be unpredictable. Even a small spark might cause serious damage. So, before you ignite the fire in your garden incinerator, make sure you fill up a watering can and keep it on site.

6. Place some newspaper balls at the bottom

Place some newspaper balls at the bottom
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Sometimes, kindling a fire can be pretty exhausting. One of the best advice we can give you is to place some newspaper balls at the bottom as these are very easily flammable.

This way, you’ll not even have to use any fuel or starters to start the fire. Generally, such accelerants are not recommended when it comes to igniting rubbish in incinerators.

7. Start with dry waste

Start with dry waste
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Even if you finally manage to ignite the fire, you have to be pretty technical when it comes to keeping the fire burning.

To ensure that the fire doesn’t die quickly, add dry waste such as dry leaves, branches, and twigs to your incinerator. If the fire still doesn’t take hold, you can try closing the incinerator lid for a while.

You shan’t overfill the incinerator at once. Doing so increases the chances of sparks falling on the ground, which is not safe, especially if your garden is full of dry grass. So, always incinerate your garden rubbish in multiple small batches.

Once you’ve started the fire on the dry waste and notice that the fire is intense and roaring, you can now add your wet waste.

Since wet or moist waste will produce heavier smoke when burnt in a weak fire, we recommend that you wait until this stage before introducing the dry waste to your incinerator. Once the fire is strong enough to instantly dry the wastes, it shan’t be much of an issue.

8. Use a long poker

If you think that the fire in that small bin will not be intense, you’re probably wrong. So, keep a long fire poker on hand to manage the fire. If you don’t have one, you can also use a long stick or a sturdy branch.

9. Close the lid at the end

Close the lid at the end
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Once you’ve added all the waste that you want to burn at once, close the lid of the incinerator. Doing so will cause the heat within the incinerator to become more intense and more stable, and the burning process will be much faster.

Moreover, using a garden incinerator with its lid on is much safer as you lower the chances of sparks flying.

10. Wait for the fire to die down before you add another lot

Opening the incinerator while the flame is still alive and roaring is not a smart idea. If you want to add more waste to the incinerator, you must wait until the flame has died down or is very weak.

11. Store the ash in a sealable container

Store the ash in sealable container
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In case you didn’t know, garden waste ash is an excellent fertilizer. So, if you’re into gardening, you might not want to throw away the ashes into a rubbish bin.

If you’re not in need of fertilizers at the moment, you can store the ashes in a sealable container and use it whenever you want to. You’d be reusing the garden waste back in the garden, how great is that?

What’s more, the wood ashes are a great source of potassium, lime, and other trace elements. So, if you’re into composting, you can pour the ashes into your compost bin or pile as well.

12. Don’t use garden incinerators on dry or windy days

You shall never use garden incinerators on windy days. Not only there’s a high chance of sparks causing havocs, but the smoke can also cause an unnecessary disturbance in the surroundings and to your neighbours.

Moreover, if you’re planning on using the garden incinerator, make sure the surrounding is not too dry as well as nearby dry vegetables or grasses might easily catch fire on such days.

13. Never leave the fire unattended

Never leave the fire unattended
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Though almost every adult is aware of this basic tip, sometimes we’re unaware of the severity of our negligence. You should never ever leave a burning garden incinerator unattended.

When it comes to fire, mishaps might happen in a blink of our eyes. So, if you’re thinking that you’ll run a small errand or finish a few minutes of household chores while your garden incinerator is roaring, that’s absolutely not a good idea.

14. Protect your garbage incinerator from water

If your garden incinerator is rust-proof, you might as well skip this tip. However, if you’re on the other side of the spectrum and your incinerator is not rust-proof, you have to consider keeping it indoors when not in use and, most importantly, when it’s raining.

But if you’re okay with changing your garden incinerator often, this might not be an issue for you. Just make sure that you’re not using a rusty incinerator, as you might get cuts or scratches while handling it.

15. Always read the safety and instruction manual

Always read the safety and instruction manual
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It is not a particular ‘garden incinerator’ tip. But it is crucial to address. If your bin has come with a safety and instruction manual, the first thing you shall do is read it.

You might find answers to most of your questions there. Most probably, you shall find all the safety as well as how to operate instructions in the manual. So, reading the manual is the way to go.

16. Make sure you’re complying with the rules and regulations

Generally, garden bonfires and incinerators are allowed as long as you’re not causing any nuisances.

However, check if your community is listed under the ‘No-smoke’ zone or if your locality has a different set of rules regarding time and days for garden waste incineration.

Being compliant with the rules and regulations is not a choice but a responsibility, and you might have to face a legal consequence for even a minor mistake. As it is better to be safe than to be sorry, always make sure that you know the dos and don’ts.


Burning garden wastes in a garden incinerator should never be your first choice as it can be harmful to human health as well as the environment.

You shall always check if other forms of waste disposal such as composting is a viable option for you and only burn those wastes that cannot be reused, recycled, decomposed, or disposed with any other methods.

Nevertheless, if using a garden incinerator is your only choice, always follow proper safety guidelines.

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