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Can I recycle fireplace ash?

Fireplace ashThe city of Los Angeles discourages the disposal of fireplace ash in the green bin for yard waste. Many residents burn wood that is chemically treated, or they burn commercially produced fire logs that may contain toxic additives and chemicals. The ash from such items contaminates the green waste that the city recycles as compost or mulch.

The L.A. Bureau of Sanitation recommends placing fireplace ash in the black bin but cautions residents to be sure the ash contains no hot embers or other material that isn’t entirely extinguished. Hot ash can melt the plastic trash bins or spark another fire.

An alternative to the black bin: Fireplace ash from untreated wood can be used as a soil amendment in gardens or added to home composters.

Because policies and recommendations can vary from city to city, each week we ask a sampling of officials from various municipalities to weigh in. Can you place fireplace ash in the yard clippings bin in …

Burbank: No
Culver City: No
Glendale: Yes, if completely cooled
Long Beach: No
Manhattan Beach: No
Riverside: No
Santa Barbara: No
Santa Monica: Yes, if completely cooled

— Susan Carpenter

Photo: Thinkstock / Getty Images

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