The Right Way To Dispose Of Coal To Clear Out Your Garage

Do you have a pile of unused coal cluttering up your garage? Well, before you chuck it out in the trash, there are a few things you ought to know. For instance, according to the Sightline Institute, coal has the potential to spontaneously combust. Nobody wants that! So, it's very important to learn how to discard your unused coal the right way.

Besides cluttering up your garage with an unsightly mess, coal is a headache to deal with. Cleaning out your garage is a great way to make more room for more storage and help it live up to its potential, but being careful about exactly what you throw in the trash is what any responsible homeowner must do. What's more, there are ways to reuse your charcoal that you might not yet be aware of. Reusing and recycling any excess materials you have in your home are great habits to cultivate and they're environmentally friendly. Keep reading to find out how you can dispose of and recycle unused coal you may have lying around.

How to dispose of coal

There are a few steps you need to follow carefully in order to dispose of coal. As eHow explains, the first thing to do is gather the coal you want to dispose of into a bucket. Make sure to only fill it to three-quarters of its capacity at one time. Also be mindful of the material of your bucket; metal is best. Plastic buckets or containers should be avoided as coal is flammable and could cause them to melt. Next, add water to the bucket now full of coal. Leave it to rest for a few hours, just be sure to place your bucket in an open area with a concrete or asphalt surface as opposed to a wooden surface or anywhere covered.

Mix it all up to make sure the coal is well moistened. It'll need to be left to sit in the water for a full day. Afterwards, you can transfer the contents of the bucket into a heavy duty garbage bag. Tie the bag shut and it will be ready for disposal. 

According to My BBQ Table, used charcoal briquettes can be chucked in the trash. Wait long enough for them to cool down completely before doing anything with them, though.

Creative ways to reuse coal

There are also multiple ways to reuse coal, explains Wonder How To. For example, you can toss a few bits of charcoal in a bag with perforations and place it in your refrigerator, bathroom, or shoe closet to get rid of foul smelling odors. You can also add charcoal to your compost heap, as it's a great source of carbon. Wonder How To recommends dropping a piece of charcoal into a vase to make your cut flowers last longer. Charcoal can reduce rust from forming in your toolbox, and crushed charcoal spread over garden soil will discourage weed growth.

However, it's important to note that, as Stockton Recycles explains, you should not attempt to reuse charcoal that contains additives such as borax or lighter fluid. Unused charcoal that is additive-free is best for neutralizing those odors or discouraging rust, whereas used charcoal that is additive-free is great for use in the garden as fertilizer.