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Old 7th November 2006, 04:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: USA - Alabama
Posts: 1

I have searched everywhere and no one can tell me if bamboo is actually toxic. I have had a pile ... like 2 dump truck loads of bamboo sitting in my backyard for almost 2 years now. The garbage collectors wont take it because they say it is toxic to burn, however I have not found any proof of this. Can I burn the bamboo to get rid of it??? Please help!!! thanks
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Old 7th November 2006, 07:37 PM
Mark Meckes
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 2,374
Hi, we have the same situation in Austin city whereas on brush collection day they specify bamboo is not permitted, but I think the reason is that it makes a huge springy pile, especially if it is stacked every which way with branches intact and it's quite a job to untangle a messy pile.
... at least that's what I think and I'm going to check to see what their explanation is. We have uses for every piece we grow so I wouldn't let them have my boo anyway.
Also green bamboo, which is very fibrous, can cause some types of chipper shredders to jam up if it is overstuffed into the hopper and not mixed with dry material.
The only toxicity in bamboo is if the spring shoots are eaten after they have grown too high, and no one would want to eat them at this stage unless one likes chewing rope.

The only danger of burning bamboo is that it can pop and whizz like a fireworks display, which is caused by the air expanding inside the internodes and getting released with a bang!
So if you burn it, make sure there's no fire danger and give plenty of space for sparks to fly.

Mark Meckes -

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Old 15th November 2006, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK Cumbria, Carlisle
Posts: 2
Burning bamboo

You could make bamboo charcoal from it?

I agree with Mark, Bamboo is not toxic (it's a natural product like wood)

Could you not build something out of it like a nice fence or something, it's seems a shame to burn it.
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Old 15th December 2006, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: USA - Michigan, Dowagiac
Posts: 15

Can I use it for Mulch? I have Arundo donax, yes I know it's a weed, but I didn't grow it I'm just using it for my summer building projects. I am peeling off the husks, an arduous task, to be sure since I have so much of it. I'm accumulating lots of the husks, I was hoping to have a nice mulch for my tomatoes this year, could I use these husks? I already have all the leafy stuff in my under the big black tarp compost heap. I don't use anything but finely chopped stuff in my regular composter, so the husks can't go there. My garbage service takes everything-- but I also use everything, so can I use it or is it toxic for plants?

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Old 17th December 2006, 04:00 AM
Mark Meckes
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 2,374
Hi PL,
Arundo donax, though a grass, has sheaths similar to bamboo sheaths, and it contains the same type of substances that straw has, though the inner part of the sheaths contain more silicates (that shiny smooth coating) and is a bit more resistant to decomposing.
However adding greens and anything that contains nitrogen with the sheaths, and it will soon begin to break down into humus for the garden.
The woody parts of bamboo take longer to decompose.

Mark Meckes -

My Photos: Gallery
- Bamboo Flora - - - Bamboo Arts & Crafts - - - Bamboo Workshop
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