I bought a new galvanised fire bin and burnt a shed load of garden waste ...just leaves and branches. I want to use the ash in the compost when preparing my raised beds but I'm worried about the galvanised coating that was on the bin. It's completely burnt off now, but has it contaminated the ash? I'm not sure how much zinc would release into the ash or how much would just float away with the smoke ...or how much zinc is good/bad in soil or compost. Does anyone have any info or experience with this issue??

1 Answer 1


Presuming this happened more than a few hours ago - no problem. Fresh zinc oxide (like an hour old) can give one the "oxide shakes" , "zinc chills" , " brass founder ague". I am the only one at Stack Exchange that has has this condition , and I can promise you would recover quickly even if you had the condition. Some zinc reacted with iron/steel and is now inert. Some zinc vaporized and immediately oxidized . No problem , zinc oxide is used in skin cremes. Zinc is a trace element used by many plants ( years ago , Amoco added zinc to fertilizer for some corn fields that were deficient in zinc). Zinc can cause liquid metal embrittlement of steel in special circumstances but I doubt that will be a problem.

  • Thank you ...I'll be sure to use it then. I'm going to store it anyway and mix it with the next load of ash, which won't have any zinc in it, so it will thin out a bit anyway. Thanks again for sharing.
    – daveheee
    Sep 7, 2021 at 8:37

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