- Jodi Eberhardt
Don’t Burn Garbage
Burning household garbage in burn barrels, wood stoves, and fire pits creates pollution
that's dangerous to human health and contaminates the air, water, and soil. It's also
against the law in Minnesota.
Garbage today contains a lot of plastics; paper treated with chemicals, coatings, and ink;
and many other chemicals. Backyard burning is a low-temperature fire that receives very
little oxygen and produces lots of smoke. Under these conditions, a variety of toxic substances
is produced and released primarily into the air close to ground level, where they are easily inhaled— with no pollution controls! Dioxin, a potent human carcinogen, is the major health risk posed by residential garbage burning. U.S. EPA research shows that burn barrels are the #1 source of dioxin in the U.S. Just one burn barrel can produce as much or more dioxin as a full-scale municipal waste combustor burning 200 tons/day.
• Instead of burning garbage, dispose of it properly.
• REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Reduce the amount of waste you create by buying products with less
packaging and buying items that last longer instead of disposable ones. REUSE the durable packaging you get (like wash out that sour cream container and use it to put leftovers in). RECYCLE all the materials you can, like cardboard, newspapers, plastic grocery bags, cans and bottles.