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How to dispose of wood

In Lawn & Garden by Jamie February 28, 2021

It’s springtime, and after a long winter where the wood mulch protected the food web in your soil and biodegraded, it’s time to freshen it up for the new growing season. But what are you supposed to do with the old mulch?

You can put natural, untreated wood mulch in your yard waste bin or in a compost bin, you can also compost it in place or in a home compost. Dyed and treated wood mulch does not compost well and may contain toxic CCA. Do not put dyed mulch in a yard waste bin or compost. Instead, check your municipality’s policy for how to dispose.

Is Mulch Considered Yard Waste?

Yard waste is any vegetative organic material that’s produced through yard or garden maintenance. So long as your mulch is natural, untreated, biodegradable vegetative matter such as wood chips and bark, then it’s yard waste.

However, plastic mulches like landscape fabric and tarps, and dyed mulch are NOT yard waste and you should not add them to yard waste bins.

Can I Put Mulch in My Yard Waste Bin?

Yes, you can add most natural, untreated mulches into your yard waste bin or even a compost bin — and your municipality may even require you to instead of putting it in the garbage. Yard waste is then composted and turned into topsoil for building projects or compost.

When you put yard waste into the garbage, it:

  • Takes up a ton of space in landfills. In fact, yard waste comprises up to 10% of all household waste.
  • Adds greenhouse gas emissions from organic matter breaking down in anaerobic conditions or doesn’t break down at all. Organic matter needs oxygen to degrade and being buried under a ton of plastic trash does not allow it to breathe.
  • Wastes precious natural nutrients that could fertilise your garden and lawn and replace the use of synthetic fertilisers.

However, if you’re not using natural mulch, check with your municipal waste management facility on whether they can recycle it or to bring it to the facility for disposal. You shouldn’t put anything in a yard waste or compost bin you wouldn’t add to your own compost (i.e. treated wood, plastic, non-organic materials).

How to Naturally Dispose of Wood Mulch

The best way to dispose of untreated wood mulch naturally is by composting.

I know, I know! So many gardeners warn against composting wood chips as it ties up nitrogen to aid it in breaking down. That is true. However, there are a few ways to mitigate this:

  • Add more high-nitrogen sources to your compost bin. Usually, you’d want to keep your carbon to nitrogen ratio to 30:1. But since decaying wood ties up nitrogen, you can add more nitrogen to balance things out. Add more fresh grass clippings, blood meal, alfalfa meal, and spent coffee grounds.
  • If the mulch is around shrubs and trees with deeper roots, you can let the wood mulch decay in place. The lack of nitrogen only affects the upper layer, while a tree’s deeper roots can reach nitrogen deeper in the soil. You can also add a nitrogen source like in composting before adding a fresh layer of mulch.

Can I Lay New Mulch Over Old Mulch?

Yes, you can lay new mulch over old mulch, so long as the mulch is from a natural source and untreated/undyed. The old mulch will break down under the new mulch, returning the nutrients into the soil.

As I mentioned above, decaying wood chips can tie up nitrogen, so you’ll want to add a high-nitrogen source, especially if it’s in garden beds where the roots are shorter.

However, you should remove the old mulch if:

  • The old mulch is matting (congealing to become one layer). Matted mulch will prevent rain and oxygen from reaching the soil and causing anaerobic conditions in which fungal diseases will take over.
  • The old mulch is already 2 or 3 inches thick as you don’t need to add new mulch unless it’s for the sake of appearance. In that case, you’ll want to remove some mulch so you can add enough new mulch to cover the old while ensuring it’s not too thick for any garden plants.

How to Dispose of Dyed Mulch?

Check with your municipal guidelines on what to do with dyed mulch. Dyed mulch cannot be composted or added to your yard waste bin. You may need to bag up the dyed mulch and take it directly to your waste management facility where they’ll dispose of it.

Dyed mulch may be toxic, depending on what was used to dye it and where they sourced it from. Quality brands of dyed mulch will use harmless dyes like iron oxide-based or carbon-based dyes, but cheaper brands will use toxic chemicals for dye.

Dyed mulches are made from recycled wood. Seems like it’s good for the planet, but the recycled wood (especially from construction and demolition) could contain chromated copper arsenate (CCA). CCA was used for decades to pressure-treat wood. CCA is harmful to you, animals, the food soil web, and young plants. You don’t want it in your yard.

Even if it doesn’t contain CCA, the recycled wood is treated to prevent it from biodegrading, which means you can’t compost it. It’s best to avoid dyed mulch and go with wood chips, which are cheaper and healthier for your soil and look nicer.

Final Thoughts

The best way to dispose of old, untreated wood mulch is to use it as compost. Just add more nitrogen to compensate. Dyed mulch is best avoided, but if you already have it, you’ll need to dispose of it by taking it to your local waste management facility.

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How is wood recycled?

Wood is primarily recycled by being reused. It is a material which can be sawn down, sanded, re-painted, and varnished in order to have its appearance drastically changed to suit a wide range of different functions. For construction purposes, wood can also be recycled and turned into man-made medium-density fibreboard (or MDF) wood which is achieved by essentially compressing and processing different wood residuals.

Recycling untreated wood

Scrap lumber from home improvement projects and other untreated wood has a number of uses for recycling. It can be chipped and used in compost or mulch. It can also be turned into particleboard or chipboard lumber. Before recycling this type of wood, we recommend trying to find ways of repurposing as a DIY project – there are many website out there that offer some brilliant ideas on how to go about doing this. If you have a fireplace at home, then untreated wood is a great candidate for burning to generate some natural warmth in the winter! Alternatively, if you just want to get rid of it, then you should you’re your local household recycling centre and throw it in the correct wood containers.

Recycling treated or painted wood

Wood that has been pressure treated, painted, varnished or otherwise finished is not a good candidate for recycling – for instance, it should not be burned in a fireplace due to the toxic chemicals found in the wood treatment solutions. You should dispose of this type of wood at your local landfill or recycling centre and always double check with the workers at the site where the correct place to dump it is.

Our team of recycling experts in Poole offer wood disposal solution service for trade customers at our Waste Transfer Station based on the Nuffield Industrial Estate in Poole. Contact us today to dispose of your trade waste.

Posted By Blog Mod / Wood and Timber / Comments are disabled

There are tons of waste wood and timber that are disposed every year. Recycling of these products was started as an initiative to limit the damage done to the environment. Deforestation was discovered to have a negative impact on the global climate and recycling was established as a viable source of more sustainable wood source. Recycling waste wood is highly beneficial and old timber can be used without felling of more trees. There are different sources of waste wood and the condition in which it is collected will vary. Improper disposal of old wood and timber is problematic to the community and hazardous for the environment.

The Recycling Process Waste wood and timber is usually divided into recycling plants for processing. The pieces are then loaded into a powerful wood shredder that breaks the pieces through a variety of processes. The product varies in size and the vibrating screener performs well in sorting out the products. Various sizes of the results are applied to different uses. The oversized pieces are re-circulated and the fine material is used as animal beddings. The size in between the two is used in broad mills. The process is efficient in ensuring that the products are not wasted. Collection of Wood Waste wood and timber is disposed into landfills if there is no recycling plant available. The companies that are deal in these recycling processes redirect this into their plants for processing.

The wood collected comes from different areas. Construction sites are major contributors of timber. Unfortunately, this wood is usually a mixture of every variety available in building. Pieces of solid wood will be found mixed with laminate material, plywood and even treated timber. This poses a big challenge when recycling because they must all be separated. It is a labor-intensive process that is also time-consuming. Demolition sites are also a rich source of waste wood and timber. The decision to demolish buildings depends on the possibility of getting recyclable materials. Wood is very hard to salvage from such sites because it is found with other substances.

Because of the nature of the resulting material of this activity, sorting out the wood from the other more resilient objects is not considered a viable option. The resulting wood is also of very low quality and it is hard to get recyclable pieces. Waste wood can also be collected from wood processing factories as well as the packaging companies. The materials that are not deemed to be quality enough are disposed of. The lowest quality of wood available is from the household wastes. People cause eventual accumulation of waste wood from old and broken furniture as well as home renovation tasks. Benefits of Recycling There are definite environmental benefits to recycling wood and timber.

Buying recycled timber is safe for the environment and limits the need for heavy reliance on the forests for fresh raw building materials. As a source of energy, it gives an alternative to other more unsustainable methods. Recycling is also more cost-effective. There are a lot of resources allocated to safe waste disposal and with different use of waste wood, the costs are significantly reduced. The process is getting more efficient and the major challenge of dealing with contaminants can be dealt with by educating people on importance of waste segregation. Check out the video below for more information, this is just one method of recycling wood and timber.

How is wood recycled?

Wood is primarily recycled by being reused. It is a material which can be sawn down, sanded, re-painted, and varnished in order to have its appearance drastically changed to suit a wide range of different functions. For construction purposes, wood can also be recycled and turned into man-made medium-density fibreboard (or MDF) wood which is achieved by essentially compressing and processing different wood residuals.

Recycling untreated wood

Scrap lumber from home improvement projects and other untreated wood has a number of uses for recycling. It can be chipped and used in compost or mulch. It can also be turned into particleboard or chipboard lumber. Before recycling this type of wood, we recommend trying to find ways of repurposing as a DIY project – there are many website out there that offer some brilliant ideas on how to go about doing this. If you have a fireplace at home, then untreated wood is a great candidate for burning to generate some natural warmth in the winter! Alternatively, if you just want to get rid of it, then you should you’re your local household recycling centre and throw it in the correct wood containers.

Recycling treated or painted wood

Wood that has been pressure treated, painted, varnished or otherwise finished is not a good candidate for recycling – for instance, it should not be burned in a fireplace due to the toxic chemicals found in the wood treatment solutions. You should dispose of this type of wood at your local landfill or recycling centre and always double check with the workers at the site where the correct place to dump it is.

Our team of recycling experts in Poole offer wood disposal solution service for trade customers at our Waste Transfer Station based on the Nuffield Industrial Estate in Poole. Contact us today to dispose of your trade waste.

Accordingly, can you recycle wood paneling?

Wood that has been pressure treated, painted, varnished or otherwise finished is not a good candidate for recycling. As discussed previously, the main uses for recycled wood are compost and garden amendments like mulch. Many people who claim to recycle wood burn it for heat or energy.

Similarly, how much does it cost to remove wood paneling with drywall? Cost to Remove Wood Paneling

Remove Wood Paneling Cost Zip Code
Low High
Remove Wood Paneling – Labor & Material Prices $30.00 – $45.00 $80.00 – $95.00
Remove Wood Paneling – Waste & Haul-away Costs $25.00 – $25.00 $25.00 – $25.00
Remove Wood Paneling – Total $55.00 – $70.00 $105.00 – $120.00

Similarly, it is asked, where do I dispose of wood?

Wood and timber are not accepted in your household recycling bin but you can take it to most household waste recycling centres. We recommend checking with your local council in the first instance.

How hard is it to remove wood paneling?

The task of removing the wood paneling itself is not difficult. Remove any pieces of molding or trim along the floor, ceiling and corners of the room. Use a pry bar to remove each piece of paneling, lifting the pieces away from the drywall or wall studs and removing them in complete sections wherever possible.