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Thread: Sawdust

  1. #1

    Sawdust

    Hello, just wondering what ideas people have for getting rid of saw dust after emptying the dust collector. At this point I usually put out for trash collection. For the most part it seems that it may have uses outside around plants etc. It seems there must be other uses so that it does not end up in the landfill.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
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    2,137
    I don’t feel too guilty about having it end up in a landfill because for the most part it’s all organic. I have a small shop and don’t produce a lot of volume, so any natural wood (no glue or finish) wood chips/saw dust goes around my landscaping.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
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    5,271
    This has been discussed many times in the past, so do some searching to find more ideas. Mostly the answers are it goes in the trash, mulch substitute, or a pile in the woods. Some use it for animal bedding but some types of wood chips arenít good for animals hooves.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    SE PA, Central Bucks County
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    I know someone who used to make fire starter with it (not sure if he still does this). He had a cheap source of paraffin and he'd mix up a large bucket of sawdust with melted paraffin, and pack a coffee can (with both ends removed) to let it dry and push it out after. I never thought that was a very efficient use of time since fire starter is cheap, but he wanted something other than the woods to dump it and had a paraffin source. I just spread it in the woods behind my shop and let it mulch back into the soil.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    49,590
    I have an area on our property where I dump dust/shavings. Folks who live in towns or urban areas more or less have to consider it "trash", I suspect. While it can be composted, that takes a long time, even with adding "greens" and carefully managing it and you cannot use it as mulch unless it's composted because of nitrogen issues.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    San Diego area
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    202
    I put my shavings on Craigslist people love it for different uses, compost, animal bedding, whatever.
    WoodsShop

  7. #7
    In case you feel bad about just putting them in the trash---

    Wood shavings don't contain a lot of nutrients but they do have a lot of sequestered carbon. Under the prevailing paradigm it's better for the environment to bag and bury wood chips rather than let them decompose.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    Phoenix AZ
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    176
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Ramsey View Post
    I know someone who used to make fire starter with it (not sure if he still does this). He had a cheap source of paraffin and he'd mix up a large bucket of sawdust with melted paraffin, and pack a coffee can (with both ends removed) to let it dry and push it out after. I never thought that was a very efficient use of time since fire starter is cheap, but he wanted something other than the woods to dump it and had a paraffin source. I just spread it in the woods behind my shop and let it mulch back into the soil.
    You can make smaller fire starters in muffin trays, paper egg cartons, etc.
    ďPay no attention to what you cannot control..Ē Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  9. #9
    During the winter, my wife saves boxes such as cereal boxes etc, which I can fill with sawdust and put in my wood furnace. The stuff also works well for mulch around trees.

  10. #10
    We sometimes work with a variety of materials in our shop other than solid wood, including pressure treated wood and plastics like Azek, so our sawdust waste is often not suitable for burning (or composting) -- unfortunately. I'ld also point out that plywood, MDF, and the like contain significant quantities of "glue" that also may pose a problem in sawdust...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SW Michigan
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    388
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    During the winter, my wife saves boxes such as cereal boxes etc, which I can fill with sawdust and put in my wood furnace. The stuff also works well for mulch around trees.
    I do the same. I throw in a box of packed sawdust into an established fire and it burns fairly well. Hate to just toss away those BTU's into the dump. I know some make their own sawdust "bricks" with water and newspaper pulp but I've never bothered with that.

  12. #12
    At the local livestock sale barn, they have a sign in the yard office that says sawdust, 35$ per bag. So guess there is some value in the stuff.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    9,495
    Quote Originally Posted by jack dempsey View Post
    Hello, just wondering what ideas people have for getting rid of saw dust after emptying the dust collector. At this point I usually put out for trash collection. For the most part it seems that it may have uses outside around plants etc. It seems there must be other uses so that it does not end up in the landfill.
    Yes, there is no point wasting valuable landfill space with organic materials.

    The sawdust can be composted and used for gardening or animal bedding and then composted.

    If you live where yard waste is picked up and composted, thatís a great way to recycle it.

    Regards, Rod

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,507
    Our trash hauler offers organic composting and will take sawdust and shavings. I often use them in the garden directly, the decomposition sucks up nitrogen so you need to add some fertilizer if you don't compost first.

    Burying wood in most soils generally doesn't sequester carbon, it just slows the cycle a little bit. You need to get it into an anaerobic situation where it can begin the process of turning into coal for meaningful sequestration.

  15. #15

    Sawdust

    I was hoping to get some creative ideas. I do not want to waste space in the landfill, but I am little reluctant to use around plants etc. Although, probably over 95 % is just sawdust from softwoods and hardwoods I occasionally cut plywood and was concerned about the glues and chemicals that are contained in the products. Thanks, Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Yes, there is no point wasting valuable landfill space with organic materials.

    The sawdust can be composted and used for gardening or animal bedding and then composted.

    If you live where yard waste is picked up and composted, thatís a great way to recycle it.

    Regards, Rod

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