Saturday, May 24, 2008


So today yours truly was attacking the massive pile of mulch I created last month, spreading it about on some of the recently-cleared stretches of low-lying ground, that smoke?

Turned out it wasn't, or whatever it was stopped doing whatever it was that made whatever it is look like smoke - but apparently, large mulch piles can indeed catch fire...

The wood chips that comprise mulch break down anabolically, much the way compost does, said Jim Taylor, owner of Taylor Recycling in Montgomery, who learned the hard way that mulch can be a menace in big piles. Though the pile sizes at his place conformed to state fire codes, he said, the codes were outdated and didn't allow for what could happen to fine-grind mulch. He estimated that of the eight or so fire calls he had to make – along what he called a painful learning curve – half of them were the results of spontaneous combustion.

Awesome! Continuing...
Hosing down a big pile of mulch might actually increase chances of combustion, he said, since water increases the anabolic breakdown.
And that's great, too! I think the writer meant to use anaerobic (as in this piece), but still. That large mulch pile is now a much smaller, non-critical-mass mulch pile.

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