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Old 02-12-2018, 05:43 AM
 
718 posts, read 364,229 times
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I compost everything that's organic.
Why question the "what" or the "if" about it?
If it's plant matter throw it on the stack!
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:51 PM
Status: "Yr Wyf Meddwl, Felly Rwy'n" (set 5 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
If that's true then heads up.... Compost piles are known to catch fire if there are leaves, grass or items that haven't broken down. And if peanuts burn fast and hot, heads up for those throwing them in the compost! Make sure it's watered down and moist daily.
Good point Cambium! Wouldn't be a problem in my area, too much rain/snow/moisture/humidity, etc. But it might not be a bad idea to exercise caution the more hot and dry the climate the compost pile is in.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:33 AM
 
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You can avoid compost pile fires by turning (mixing) the pile, which you really should do anyway.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:40 AM
Status: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
30,269 posts, read 36,648,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
If that's true then heads up.... Compost piles are known to catch fire if there are leaves, grass or items that haven't broken down. And if peanuts burn fast and hot, heads up for those throwing them in the compost! Make sure it's watered down and moist daily.

Spontaneous combustion. Usually caused by having too much green material drying, which causes the heat, in the mix.

You'll sometimes hear about barn fires caused by it from newly cut hay. You used to see a lot of it at sawmills (sawdust piles) and coal mine boney piles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_combustion
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:30 AM
 
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actually it's not the drying of the green material, and the green material does not burn well. Drying itself actually lowers temperatures, since it takes energy to convert water to vapor. Instead, it's the rotting of certain kinds of materials. Ever notice how warm a compost pile can be when you turn it? That's what the rotting does - usually driven by fungi. And that's why dry sawdust can take off (noting that sawdust, like whole wood, is never truly dry).

These days, farmers tend to field dry their hay, or load silage towers when the hay is quite wet, and the sawmills around me spray their sawdust piles.
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