How to Use a Garden Incinerator

Smoke rises from a garden incinerator with lawn debris surrounding it.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5
What You'll Need
Some small, dry twigs
Matches or lighter
Heat-resistant gloves
Separate container

A garden incinerator is the easiest, tidiest, quickest, and most efficient way of getting rid of your lawn/landscape debris like leaves, debris, and hedge trimmings. They are generally made of galvanized steel and are either cylindrical (like a trash can) or square in shape. It consists of a kiln (where you burn the rubbish) and a series of holes in the lower section of the incinerator that provide ventilation. However, just like any other tool, having an incinerator is pointless if you don't know the proper way to use it.

Tip: Before buying or making a garden incinerator, you should make sure that your house doesn't lie in a smokeless zone and that you are allowed to burn rubbish in your yard. In fact, garden incinerators may create nuisances with their smoke output, so you should only use them when there is not much wind.

Step 1 - Place Your Garden Incinerator

Before you light your incinerator, place it somewhere safe where fire accidents won’t happen easily. Do not do this after you've created a fire inside because this device can quickly get too hot for you to handle!

Step 2 - Heat it Up

Line the bottom of the incinerator using balled-up newspaper with some small twigs on top. Then, before actually lighting this fuel, make sure that the ventilation adjustments at the bottom are open enough to take in the proper amount of oxygen; without good ventilation, your fire will keep dying out. Finally, ignite your newspaper and twigs and give them a bit of time to heat up. You can then add some bigger branches.

Step 3 - Insert Your Debris

Now, wearing heat-resistant gloves, remove the lid, and put any garden rubbish into the rotary kiln, which you should generally keep at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. All of it will quickly burn to ashes. Make sure to keep the lid closed to maintain heat stability inside.

Step 4 - Remove the Ashes

Before trying to clean out the kiln, make sure the fire has died out and the ash has cooled. You can choke the fire quickly, and ensure it stays out, by using the ventilation adjustments to cut off the oxygen to the flames. Once it's safe, tip the incinerator bin over and transfer the ash into a separate container for further disposal or treatment. You can take it to a land dump or use it for your own gardening needs. Ash from garden materials makes a good fertilizer.

As you can see, using this device is fairly straightforward and simple. Just be careful to always practice safe habits when burning lawn debris.