When you live in a rural area, you burn things. It's just a fact. Our friendly neighbourhood landfill is open one day a week for your convenience and you still have to pay to use it even though we pay taxes. If we want to put out garbage bags (every two weeks in clear plastic bags only) we must affix a sticker for our municipality which costs us $2.00 a bag. Which we do. We don't burn our garbage. We also get recycling pick up every two weeks as well.
I have a compost container which takes almost all leftover food items as well as perennial clippings, etc. I do not put badly behaved weeds in my compost because they survive there quite nicely. As well, husband is a do it yourselfer and accumulates a lot of scrap.
We have a burn barrel. It is a nice tall barrel with holes cut out of the bottom for good air flow. It is sitting on four big cement pavers. The pavers sit on sand. Today I spent a couple of hours burning. I literally stand close by, garden hose at the ready, large bucket filled with water. We had a burn ban in our municipality for quite a while, but with recent rains the ban has been lifted. Still, I am a cautious burner. Dried plant material, cuttings from trees, scrap old chipboard from chicken coop renovation, etc. burn really well, but I don't ever want to be responsible for setting something on fire that shouldn't be. I am especially cautious due to the death of three people in our local area in a house fire. We are not California or other parts of Ontario, who are of course, currently dealing with terrible fires. But I still am diligent.
We have so many cut limbs /branches from trees that we have trimmed or have had to cut down part of due to the fact that Manitoba maples are like weeds that tend to bend over and break off that a burn of all of those would be insane. Instead we are planning to rent ($$$) a wood chipper and make mulch which I will use in all of my perennial beds. The humungous pile of branches and limbs reminds me of a scene I read about in Pet Semetery (Stephen King) and yes, that is how it is spelled for the book. Anyone remember reading about the deadfall in that book? (Teenage years of reading Stephen King).
What about the rest of you? Any burn barrel or wood chipper people out there?