Compost fire in South Salt Lake closes roads, threatens businesses


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  • Granny Saint George, UT
    July 12, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    A former neighbor of mine had a very small compost pile for his personal gardening. We never smelled it but it attracted squirrels, mice and bugs. The squirrels ate the fruit from our trees, the mice got into our basement and created a horrible mess, and the bugs added exponentially to an already difficult issue in a desert environment.

    I can't imagine "what" was attracted to the large compost operation in this story.

  • popendi Uganda, 00
    July 11, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    Sorry for my friends in South Salt Lake.

  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    This business is located just down the street from where I work. I could see they were still trying to put it out this morning. It is adjacent to the freeway. It does cause the whole area to smell like a giant garbage dump. other than that you would not know this business was even there unless you drive by and see it. a compost pile of this size is a hazard. They know it's a hazard. South Salt Lake does not want to lose the tax revenue with a reasonably sized business. They either need to be subjected to more compliance or will need to move to a different area with less population and less risk.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    July 11, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Liberal Ted,

    I just searched on line for information about compost fires and would have posted several links but they are not allowed by DN.

    Bottom line is, spontaneous combustion of compost piles are, and I quote from several sources "extremely rare". Nearly all compost fires are from an outside source of ignition.

    Just thought everyone might be interested to know.

  • Tomb Raider Murray, UT
    July 11, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    I work in a business across the street and this compost pile is definitely zoned in wrong area of town. In the last three weeks there has been 4 FIRES AT THE SAME LOCATION! It threatens public safety and is a general nuisance. If our business was right next to this place like Camp Bow Wow, or others, I would be absolutely livid. It is obvious that the owner of the compost business is negligent and not doing what is necessary to make it safe, after these 4 fires in a short amount of time. Time to close the doors!

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 11, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    The question for Liberal Ted is why would you or anyone else would want to climb a compost heap?

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    July 11, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    Well that stinks...

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2014 5:56 a.m.

    It's very common for compost piles to catch on fire. Try climbing around one in 20 Degree Fahrenheit weather. You can move around wearing a t-shirt and not notice the cold. The decomposing material generates a lot of heat.

    I never understood why they are allowed to have such a huge pile of rotting organic material. Every time I drove by, I knew it was just a matter of time before the pile would erupt. Typically you need a sprinkler system running on the pile to keep the naturally occurring fire down. If that's not an issue big enough, then you have to deal with the rotting smell of the pile. I'm sure the neighbors enjoy that smell.