mgambuzza wrote:Is there anyone here from the Syracuse, NY area? Can ash be dropped off in the regular trash? I have done some searches on the internet and some municipalities allow for ash disposal as long as it is in a separate bag. Syracuse DPWs web site really doesn't say anything about ash of any kind (although they do state about dog and cat waste).
Berlin wrote:Coal ash is best avoided for use in gardens; It does not contain much nutrient content nor does it really benefit the soil structure. Coal ash is not beneficial to a garden because its phosphorus and potassium content are low compared to wood ash, which can be quite beneficial. Some coal ash containes elevated levels of arsenic which is not good for plants; however, in the US and especially the eastern us, this is generally not the case; additionally coal ash contains mostly unburnt rock, silica and similar inert and unbenifical matter.
Now, having said all that, realize that if you were to add some coal ash to your garden, it generally wont hurt it, unless you add excessive amounts over possibly years; additionally with anthricite or bituminous coal, the % of ash that contains certain undesireable trace elements varies widely from coal seam to seam, region to region, and even different areas of the same coal seam. However, in the us eastern coals, bituminous or anthricite have very low levels of the worst trace elements and do not generally differ greatly from the soil in general. The main point of my post being that while the addition of ash to your garden will probably not hurt your garden or you, it would add no noticeable benifit either, so just dump your coal ash in the woods and save your wood ash for the garden.