Late this week more counties were added to the spring burn restriction list. That could leave homeowners wondering what to do with their pile of yard waste. Soil scientist Carl Rosen with the University of Minnesota Extension says maybe consider a different approach this spring.

“Composting is definitely an advantage over burning. You’re conserving carbon. You’re putting that into the soil.”

Rosen says there can be benefits from using the ash left behind by a burn pile, but not nearly the same as when the waste is composted from the start. U of M Extension has a compost resource page at, keyword “compost.”