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10/27/2015 6:40 pm  #1

Burning garbage toxin info

Saw this over on Reddit.
It's a US dept of agriculture/ forest service study on the various carcinogens that you get when you burn plastic bags, aluminum foil, etc in a wood fire. Enjoy!

Last edited by LaLoche (10/27/2015 6:41 pm)


10/28/2015 2:19 pm  #2

Re: Burning garbage toxin info

Thanks for this - hopefully it will change some habits as it's unpleasant to arrive at a campsite with trash burning remnants in the pit knowing what it's doing to the air. I live in the country and my neighbour burns all his household trash, including the plastic bags the stuff is in. The prevailing breeze tends to blow it toward our house and one whiff of it starts giving me a headache - reading this, it's little wonder why...


11/30/2015 2:22 pm  #3

Re: Burning garbage toxin info

I was glad to see that the report also pointed out that a wood fire itself produces a lot of toxins.  Many of the items they tried burning such as used batteries are clearly not appropriate for a campfire.  We usually have very little plastic garbage on canoe trips as we pack most of our food in plastic bags that we clean and reuse at the end of the trip.  If it is just my wife and I we might not even have campfires on a trip.   However, I am not philosophically opposed to burning garbage and in some situations I will burn plastic food wrapping.   Usually that would be for a large family weekend  trip where there is no portaging and a lot more smelly food wrappings than we would normally have on a trip.  One criticism I have of the report is that the fires they were using were not very large.   I would expect that most people burning garbage would have a larger, hotter fire.

I did try burning a disposable diaper around 20 years ago.   Even with a good sized hot fire it took quite a while to burn.   I had to conclude that burning disposable diapers was not a viable alternative to carrying them out.  We had managed to avoid carrying around a bag of poopy diapers on canoe trips by using cloth diapers (though that meant we had to wash them on the trip).  After a bad experience at Booth Lake where it was too damp to dry cloth diapers, we switched to using disposable diapers on canoe trips.


11/30/2015 10:06 pm  #4

Re: Burning garbage toxin info

      do not worry,, the new carbon tax that is coming will really help cut down the  carbon foot print in ontario,,right? like a carbon tax on the green fire wood sold inside da park, camp fuel, gasoline,any bloody thing that moves will have a carbon tax. that will help cut down on the toxins, right? prices are going up. 
     perhaps, if park staff was little more pro active and  clean out car campgrounds  fire pits (dig them out) thangs would be a little less toxic around the old camp fire.
      i have been up some of the look- out trials off of highway 60 before dusk and the smog is alarming over the car campgrounds,,,  algonquin park, the secret is out!  


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