How to recycle wood ashes – but not in your recycling bin

Over the past couple of weeks, Council contractors have been finding ashes in the recycling bins around the district.

Ashes can not go into your yellow-lidded recycling wheelie bin

However, than can still be recycled! Here are a couple of tips and tricks you can do with ashes from your wood burner (once they’ve cooled, of course!)

  1. De-skunk pets. A handful rubbed on Fido’s coat neutralizes the lingering odor.
  2. Hide stains on paving. Absorbs wet paint spatters on cement by sprinkling ash directly on the spot; it blends in with a scuff of his boot.
  3. Enrich compost. Before the organic compound get applied to soil, enhance its nutrients by sprinkling in a few ashes. Adding too much, though, ruins the mix.
  4. Block garden pests. Spread evenly around garden beds, ash repels slugs and snails.
  5. Control pond algae. One tablespoon per 1,000 gallons adds enough potassiumm to strengthen other aquatic plants that compete with algae, slowing its growth.
  6. Pump up tomatoes. For the calcium-loving plants, place 1/4 cup right in the hole when planting.
  7. Clean glass fireplace doors. A damp sponge dipped in the dust scrubs away sooty residue.
  8. Make soap. Soaking ashes in water makes lye, which can be mixed with animal fat and then boiled to produce soap. Salt makes it harden as it cools.
  9. Shine silver. A paste of ash and water makes a dandy nontoxic metal polisher.

If none of the ideas above resonate, put the ashes into a metal bin, douse them in water for at least 10 minutes and then put into your red-lidded general waste wheelie bin.

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