Waste management and proper disposal of household waste have become a must in today’s day and age. Different colour-coded bins (Green/Grey, Brown and Blue) have made disposing of waste more effectively. Many homeowners, considering the fact that wood is natural a product, assume that disposing of it will be easy. However, this is not the case. There are many things which a person needs to get familiarized with to ensure that he can indeed dispose of unwanted wood safely and correctly. Read on to know more on the subject.
What bin does wood go in?
Firstly, let’s consider the general distinction, and categorize wood into untreated and treated wood. Untreated wood like dimensional lumber, clean timber, limbs and stumps are recyclable. On the other hand, wood treated with creosote, painted wood, stained wood and/or contaminated wood cannot be recycled and needs to be disposed of properly.
Burning these treated wood types to get rid of them may seem logical; however, it is highly discouraged. As these are treated with toxic chemicals, so when burnt harmful chemicals are released into the atmosphere. Furthermore, it is illegal to burn treated wood in many areas. Thus, specialized landfills are built with protective liners. It is the job of these liners to ensure that no contaminants during and/or after the disposal process are spilt over the water and soil nearby. Going for this option is considered as one of the safest ways to dispose of treated wood.
There are also many recycling plants known for successful dispose of treated wood by first turning then into mulch, and then following their usual recycling process.
You should use specially-marked large bins to store treated woods before you hand them over to the landfill/recycling plant. It is advisable that you cut large pieces of treated wood (by following the safety protocol) into smaller pieces before dumping them in the specialized bin.
How to recycle wood?
Besides untreated woods, there are many other types of wood that can be recycled and urban waste wood is one of them. It is generally your wooden furniture and yard waste like sawed lumber, maintenance debris, a whole tree from the yard and pruned branches. Wood debris from demolition and/or construction used lumber, wood trim and pallets used for shipping can also be recycled.
Brown bin is for kitchen and garden waste, known to be perfect for pruning, leaves and grass cutting. There are many different recycling plants that can successfully dispose of untreated woods. You can contact them and they will guide you on what you have to do before you hand the wood waste to them.
Some other popular ways to recycle your untreated wood are:
- Burning them for fuel for wood stove or fireplace.
- Reselling or donating the unused wood items.
- Using old furniture and other wood items for a new project.
- Turning wood chips and sawdust into mulch.
- Adding wood shavings and sawdust in the compost heap.
Is wood compostable?
Untreated woods are a natural product and thus can is compostable. Small pieces are known for decomposing within 12months. However, anything bigger than a twig will take a long time to decompose. Thus, big wood pieces and large branches should be broken/cut down into smaller pieces to avoid a clogged-up compost heap. As it takes a long time to compost, it will be best to have a dedicated space for it for better management and result.
Is wood biodegradable?
Yes; untreated woods are a natural product which makes them biodegradable.
Can you recycle wood with nails?
Often wood fit for recycling can come with metal components such as nails and screws. Often times recycling plants are known for taking wood with nails. They use different methods to extract the nails before going on with the recycling process.
Nails or other such metal components that are large in size can damage a recycling machine. Thus, many times recycling plants may instruct people to remove those large metal pieces including nails before handing them over.
Removing such components is not that difficult and there are many methods/devices that can help. Magnets are generally used by homeowner/business-owner/recycling centres to remove nails and other ferrous metals. On the other hand, eddy current separator is the most popular choice to remove items like brass and aluminium fittings and other such non-ferrous metal items.
Is plywood recyclable?
As plywood is treated; it is considered as a Class b form of wood. They are not compostable; however, they are recyclable. But the plywood should be separated from other wood types in order to be recycled. Usually, a specialized shredder machine is used to shed them for the recycling process.