Ash Disposal In Maine

Ash Disposal In Maine

PostBy: Che Guevara On: Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:44 pm


I am a new coal user. I bought a Hitzer EZ Flo 503 Fireplace Insert Coal Stove that was used for 2 years after 2011 and then idle until now. I cleaned it, replaced some fire bricks and repainted it with Satin Black Stove Bright Paint. It Looks great.

I have read conflicting accounts about Anthracite Coal Ash Disposal in Maine. I could use some under my walk way bricks to keep them level or some in my 100 foot driveway now covered with 3/4 reclaim that is five years old. I am concerned about whether the ash is toxic to a nearby vegetable garden if the snowblower picks it up and throws it as I clean the driveway. I also read conflicting reports about adding it to my compost. Some claim a respirator is always needed when handling Anthracite ashes and others say just close your mouth and watch the wind direction.

I will be burning Blaschak Bagged Nut Coal from Southern Maine Renewable Fuels, 354 Gray Rd, Windham, ME 04062, (207) 892-3702,

My trash is hauled by me to a rural Town Transfer Station. I expect to use about 3 tons of bagged anthracite based on my prior wood pellet stove needs. I understand I can use the old Blaschak bags to hold the ash.

Any thoughts and how to use (especially with gardens) and dispose of the excess Anthracite ash is appreciated.
Thank you,
Che Guevara,
Cumberland County, Maine
Che Guevara
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak Anthracite
Other Heating: Used Hitzer 503 EZ Flo Coal Fireplace insert

Re: Ash Disposal In Maine

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:48 pm

Its non-hazardous ... although you don't want to breath in any type of particulates ..hazardous or lungs no likey.
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Ash Disposal In Maine

PostBy: Pacowy On: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:19 pm

I think there are a few threads that cover this - you could try using the Search box if you want to dig further into it. In general, hazardous stuff shows up in coal (and ash) in about the same proportions that it shows up in dirt. This isn't surprising, when you consider how the coal formed and how long it has been sitting underground. Normally I think ash is over 90% silica compounds (like sand), so it is an excellent traction agent in winter. As dm3 says, you don't want to breathe a lot of that, but it's not unduly hazardous. I've also used it to fill ruts in unpaved driveways and as aggregate in a driveway patch/concrete mix.

Testing the soil in your garden would be a good idea whether or not coal ash is present. If your garden is anywhere near the road, you may have elevated lead levels from past use of leaded gasoline. Likewise, if it is near an old structure, lead paint could be having effects. If the garden uses PT lumber, arsenic may be present. Some people do fearmongering over heavy metals in coal ash, but if they were really worried about heavy metals they'd be testing.

Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Ash Disposal In Maine

PostBy: warminmn On: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:43 pm

If your concerned about breathing the ash, theres nothing wrong with wearing a mask. You only have to please yourself.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Efel Nestor Martin, Frankenstove
Coal Size/Type: nut and stove anthracite. Soft coal
Other Heating: wood

Re: Ash Disposal In Maine

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:13 am

Welcome to the forum Che G. If you previously burned pellets to stay warm you are going to love the heat you get from coal. You picked up a real good, solid coal burning appliance based on others experience.

I recommend you dump your ashes in a metal barrel with cover and let completely cool for a day or so before you bag 'em.

Look forward to hearing about your first season with coal.

Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box stove, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Baseburners & Antiques: Home Sparkle 12
Coal Size/Type: Coal Contractor's stove, a little Kimmels 'nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: Ash Disposal In Maine

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:04 am

I had a blackberry bush growing out of my pile, can't be too toxic.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Ash Disposal In Maine

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:07 am

Save some for the garden and for the drive, I use a lot once icing starts. Great for Tomatoes, PIttston, PA has been growing them in this stuff for over 100 years with no ill effects. My attempts were not so bountiful. They have so many they throw them at each other ... well its PA, no one accused them of being sane.

I wonder if Robbie (the Aroostock county potato baron) has tried spuds in ash yet. Would I eat stuff grown in coal ash - I have and I do. Coal ash and horse manure and a little lime, now there is a fertilizer to be proud of. Hmmm, blackberries... I have a rash of them near where I dump stuff such as manure and ash ... I love blackberry pie.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Invader 2
Baseburners & Antiques: Wings Best, Glenwood #8(x2) Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice,
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Ash Disposal In Maine

PostBy: HillStreet On: Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:44 pm

This year I am planning to place the ashes at the blueberry bushes. Aren't they acidic, and what the berries like?
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS EnergyMax 160
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthacite
Other Heating: Radiant in floor