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Blog: How To Make Your Own Garden Incinerator

13 Nov 2017

Aluminium Bins Are Best

Aluminium bins are a great starting point for making your own incinerator. Because it’s metal rather than plastic, it won’t melt when subjected to the high temperatures typical of incinerating garden waste and it maintains its shape well. These can be easily purchased from DIY stores or you may even have some lying around from the pre-plastic wheelie bin era! It isn’t vital to have a bin in particularly good condition, but it should have at least have a fairly sturdy base to cope with the ashes and remaining debris post-burning.

Drill Your Draft Holes

Once you’ve found a suitable container in which to form your incinerator, the first step will be to drill holes at the bottom, an inch or two above the base. These should be around 2inches (5cm) in diameter and space a couple of inches apart. The purpose of these holes is to draw fresh air in at the base, which feeds the fire and allows it to keep burning safely and consistently. The easiest tools to use to cut these holes is either using a core bit on a standard drill or alternatively, a jigsaw, metal nibblers or metal shears can do the job depending on the thickness of your aluminium can which can vary.

Prepare Your Patch

Obviously, when dealing with an incinerator you want to keep all your combustibles inside it and don’t want to risk spreading the fire elsewhere. This makes picking the right area in which to place your incinerator vital. It should be a location that is low in combustibles such as a patch of soil, dug into sand or on top of flags/brickwork. For more advice on clearing space in your garden, why not check out our dedicated blog post with some tips on how to do it? Once you’ve done this, place some bricks underneath the incinerator to raise it above ground level, which prevents damage to the surrounding floor area and provides additional airflow to feed the fire. If you're moving a larger number of bricks, ensure to be careful, and perhaps use a wheelbarrow to assist.

Lay Waste To Your Waste

You’re ready to go! Start loading up your garden waste into the incinerator. If you’re looking to burn some larger material such as branches or tree limbs, it may be a good idea to use a garden chipper to reduce the sizes down before burning. You can either use a firelighter to light your incinerator or if you’re looking to burn dry leaves or brush a match should be sufficient enough to see it light. If you want to put the incinerator out, then simply place the lid on the top and that should choke the flames of oxygen and cause it to go out.

Stay Safe

Please ensure that all the relevant safety precautions are taken when working with fire. Metal can get extremely hot, so you must take every care not to touch the incinerator when in use. Certain areas do not allow the burning of materials, so it is important to check your own local and national rules and regulations surrounding this before undertaking any kind of material burning.

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