How to Dispose of Used BBQ Charcoal

The summer season is a time of relaxation and good times. But when the grilling’s done, what do you do with all that used charcoal? It can be hard to know how to dispose of it properly without creating an environmental hazard or wasting valuable resources – but don’t worry. We’ve got your back. In this blog post, we’ll explain exactly how to dispose of used BBQ charcoal in the right way so you can rest easy knowing you’re doing your part for Mother Nature while still enjoying some delicious barbecued treats. Plus, we’ll also tell you what not to do with leftover charcoal as well as ways on how best to reuse it. So let’s get started and learn everything there is about disposing of used BBQ charcoal once and for all.

Table of Contents:

The Right Way to Dispose of Charcoal

Charcoal is a popular fuel for barbecues and fire pits, but disposing of it correctly can be tricky. Charcoal should never be thrown away in the regular trash as it can cause fires if not disposed of properly. Here are some tips on how to dispose of charcoal safely and responsibly:

1) Allow the Charcoal to Cool Down

It’s important to let your charcoal cool down completely before attempting to discard it. If you try to throw out hot coals, they could start a fire in your garbage bin or even worse, someone else’s. Make sure that all embers have died out before throwing them away.

2) Dispose at an Appropriate Location

Don’t just toss your cooled-down charcoal into any nearby bush or field; this could lead to wildfires if conditions are dry enough. Instead, look for designated areas where you can dispose of charcoal, such as landfill sites or recycling centres which will ensure that the coal is disposed of safely and responsibly.

3) Consider Reusing Your Charcoal

Charcoal from BBQ grill

If possible, consider reusing your charcoal rather than throwing it away entirely. You may want to spread used coals around plants in your garden as fertilizer or use them again for another barbecue session – just make sure they’re fully cooled down first. Alternatively, you could also donate used charcoals to friends who may need them for their own outdoor activities like camping trips or bonfires with family members.

By following these simple steps when disposing of charcoal, you can help keep our environment safe from potential fires caused by improperly discarded coals while also helping yourself save money on buying new ones each time.

By following the right steps to dispose of charcoal, you can help protect the environment and keep your home and garden safe. Now let’s take a look at what not to do when disposing of used charcoal.

Key Takeaway: We can help keep our environment safe from potential fires by properly disposing of used charcoal: allow it to cool down, dispose at an appropriate location and consider reusing or donating.

What Not To Do With Charcoal

When it comes to disposing of charcoal, there are a few things you should definitely not do. First and foremost, don’t throw used charcoal in your regular trash can. Charcoal is combustible and can easily start a fire if left unattended or improperly disposed of. It’s also important to note that throwing away large amounts of charcoal at once could be considered illegal dumping in some areas.

Another thing you should avoid doing with used charcoal is leaving it outside in the open air for extended periods of time. Not only does this create an eyesore, but it also poses a risk to wildlife as animals may ingest the pieces thinking they are food sources or use them as nesting material without knowing their true nature.

Finally, never attempt to burn off leftover bits of coal by yourself unless you have the proper safety equipment and know what you’re doing – even then, it’s best avoided altogether if possible. Burning off coal requires special tools and techniques that most people simply don’t possess or understand how to use correctly – so always leave this task up to professionals who know exactly what they’re doing when handling such materials safely and responsibly.

In conclusion, when disposing of used charcoal, there are certain steps one must take in order to ensure its safe disposal; namely, avoiding putting it into regular trash cans or leaving it out in the open air where wildlife may come across it unknowingly. Instead, opt for alternative methods such as reusing them (more on that below) or handing over responsibility for burning off any remaining bits safely to qualified professionals who have been trained specifically on how to handle these types of materials properly.

Key Takeaway: When disposing of used charcoal, avoid throwing it in the trash, leaving it out in the open air, or burning off any remaining bits without proper safety equipment. Instead, reuse or hand over responsibility to qualified professionals.

How To Reuse Charcoal

Many people simply throw away their used charcoal, which is not only wasteful but also bad for the environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can reuse your leftover charcoal in creative and useful ways.

Reuse Charcoal as Fertilizer

One great way to reuse your leftover charcoal is by using it as fertilizer in your garden or yard. Charcoal contains high levels of potassium and phosphorus, both of which are essential nutrients for healthy plants. Simply spread a thin layer of finely ground charcoal around your plants or sprinkle some into the soil before planting new ones – this will help provide them with much-needed nutrients throughout the growing season.

Use Charcoal as Mulch

Another great way to use up any extra charcoal you have lying around is by turning it into mulch. This works especially well if you have larger pieces of coal left over from an outdoor fire pit or barbecue grill – just break them down into smaller chunks and spread them around flower beds or trees like regular mulch would be used. The added benefit here is that because coal absorbs heat so well, it helps keep soil temperatures warm during cold weather months while still providing all the benefits associated with traditional mulching methods, such as weed suppression and moisture retention.

Create DIY Fire Starters

Close up look at used charcoal pieces inside a BBQ grill

If you have small pieces of coal left over from grilling out on a summer night, don’t throw them away. Instead, save those bits up until you have enough to make homemade fire starters for future camping trips or backyard bonfires. All you need to do is fill empty toilet paper rolls (or similar containers) halfway full with crumbled up pieces of coal, then add some dryer lint on top – when lit, they should burn long enough for even damp wood logs to catch fire quickly without having to use harsh chemicals like lighter fluid.

Key Takeaway: Reusing charcoal is an easy and environmentally-friendly way to reduce waste. Here are some ideas: use it as fertilizer, mulch, or DIY fire starters.


In conclusion, disposing of used bbq charcoal is an important task that should not be taken lightly. It’s essential to know the right way to do it in order to keep your environment safe and clean. Remember, don’t just throw away your charcoal – reuse it or find a proper disposal method for it. With these tips, you can make sure that your barbecue experience is both enjoyable and eco-friendly.

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