Biomass Burning Alternatives

This page last reviewed August 8, 2011

Alternative Treatment Methods

Burning has long been a cost effective and efficient method to manage agricultural and forest residues.  However, burning these residues can cause many negative impacts on the surrounding community. The smoke from vegetative burning can cause health impacts to those close to the source, as well as to people hundreds of miles away. Because of these impacts, many Californians are seeking alternative methods to dispose these wastes.

The title 17 Smoke Management Guidelines for Agricultural and Prescribed Burning strongly encourage the use of alternatives to the burning of agricultural and forest residue. The use of a specific alternative is dependent on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the type of residue, the season, weather conditions, possible environmental impacts, and the cost-effectiveness of the alternative. The links below provide information about several commonly available alternative residue management techniques.

Equipment Gallery

(Although the following information is derived from fuel treatments in the forest setting, substantial portions of this data apply to the treatment of agricultural crop waste, such as orchard waste wood.)

Mechanical Logging
Mechanical Fuel Modification
Non-Mechanical Fuel Modification