Compost pile??

bitchin'71SS

Veteran Member
Sep 10, 2009
397
Poughkeepsie, NY
So I don't normally post here about random topics that have nothing to do with camaros. But as you can see, it's happening now.

We have a compost pile out by the woods. My dad now has the fancy bags on the back of the lawn mower, which fill up grass clippings and get emptied in said pile. As the summer progresses, it has grown substantially.

Those of you camaro owners who have a compost pile know that it is a mass of decomposing organic matter. Thus it produces heat, among other things.

My dad thinks that it is a 'fire hazard' (just like my car, my room, etc.). He wants me to do something to get rid of it or spread it out whatever. I say, push it further into the woods, it's a friggin compost pile.

He is yelling up the stairs at me now, to go perform this trivial task.

So my ridiculous question of the day is, can a compost pile be dangerous in any way? i.e. forest fires, spontaneous combustion, teen pregnancy, etc etc..

:roadkill:
 

1971SS

Veteran Member
Feb 5, 2011
724
eastern NC
I say, if your dad is footing your bills...do as he says...

appears to me, your searching for fuel to start a fire...
 
Last edited:

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,207
Bloomington, MN
Compost breaking down creates heat.

Keeping it wet speeds the decomposition and prevents it from ever catching fire. (A little fertilizer added to the mix speeds the process too.)

I've dumped clippings and leaves into my compost pile for a decade now.
It's never caught fire but the neighborhood fox loves to sit in it during the cool days of early spring.

Unless it's in a tightly confined area (shed or barn) it won't catch fire.
 

rscamaro73

Administrator
Staff member
Grass clippings...food scraps...etc...add a lil lime to reduce the smell, and some water to help it break down and stir daily. It'll make some good stuff. As far as fire hazard - not really. Just hose it down or have dad dump the clippings elsewhere :confused:
 

bitchin'71SS

Veteran Member
Sep 10, 2009
397
Poughkeepsie, NY
I raked what I could further into the wilderness. Stirring it up on top of it is like being in a sauna, and it smells amazing..

I'm going to tell him if it makes him feel better, spray it with water on a real hot dry day.
 

POS71RS

Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Aug 21, 2002
10,334
Central Coast, CA
Seems that adding water/making the compost wetter actually increases the heat according to the article above.

Spontaneous Combustion

Spontaneous combustion can occur in hay if it is baled at too high a moisture level. The general recommendation is that small rectangular bales should be baled at 20% moisture or less and that large round bales should be baled at 18% moisture or less The exception to this is when a hay preservative such as proprionic acid is applied to the hay prior to bailing. When this is done, hay may be safely baled at 25 percent moisture or higher.

Heating of hay is caused by the activity of microorganisms. Dry hay does not heat excessively because it lacks the necessary moisture to support any significant microbial growth. The microorganisms that cause heating are naturally present on forage and they will become active if conditions are suitable.

Spontaneous combustion is more likely to occur in tightly baled hay as opposed to loosely baled hay, and packing newly made bales tightly together in a barn also makes it more difficult for heat to escape. However, there could be danger anytime the recommended moisture levels for baling are exceeded, although if the moisture level is no more than a few percent higher than recommended it is likely that the main negative result will be moldy hay. The higher above recommended levels that the moisture level goes, the greater the likelihood of extreme heating and fire.

Personally... I've had a few SMALL compost piles in the past... and I've felt some heat from them... but I would NEVER have guessed them to get hot enough to combust. That's amazing to me.

1Black80Z said:
I say, if your dad is footing your bills...do as he says...

appears to me, your searching for fuel to start a fire...

+1!
 




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