Together We Can Save Muskoka
Friends of the Muskoka Watershed have launched Canada’s first residential wood ash recycling program designed to solve the calcium decline problem in Muskoka’s forests and lakes.
We have big plans that by the end of this three year project we will have 1000 Muskokans saving 100 tonnes of ash just from their fireplaces and wood stoves!
Where will we put all this wood ash you ask? We will be applying wood ash to sugar bushes and forest soils in Muskoka. Why? Because wood ash, with its high calcium content and other nutrients, is a valuable forest soil fertilizer. Through natural soil processes, some of the calcium and nutrients will make its way to Muskoka’s lakes.
Right now, however we are starting with you!
What do we need from you?
We need you to simply save your ashes from your fireplace or wood stove until we complete the arrangements on how you will get it to us.
Here are a few things you need to know before saving your ash:
- ash can be saved from either your fireplace or wood stove
- cool your wood ash completely, i.e., for several days before adding it to your recycling container. Hot ash is a real fire risk to homes, property, forests and the landfill
- if possible remove any nails and screws from the wood before you burn it. If not possible, rake the nails and screws from the ashes
- burn metallic foil
- burn pressure-treated wood
- burn wood that contains nails, staples, or any other metals
- burn wood that may contain chemical preservatives and/or insecticides
- burn plastic products in your fireplace
In the meantime you can also:
- use cold wood ash in your gardens, on driveways, and in your homes
- sprinkle cold wood ash around trees on your property, especially sugar maples
But please do not:
- recycle your wood ash before it is completely cold
- dump wood ash in any waterbody on or near your property
- dispose your wood ash in one big pile. Spread it out!
One last thing …
Please let us know what you need from us to help you save your ash.