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  • Disposal of wood chips/sawdust

    Not sure if this is the correct forum, so feel free to move...

    We're moving into a rental property in Kentucky. I generate a fair amount of wood chips & sawdust in the dust collector, and currently just put them in a compost pile. After composted they go into the adobe they call dirt here in Indiana. Gets rid of chips and breaks up soil at the same time.

    However, since we'll be in a rental I don't feel right making a humongous compost pile in the yard, even if it is 2 acres (mostly grass, or I could probably find a place ). So I'm in a dilemma--what to do with bags & bags of sawdust? The only thoughts I had was tote it back to Indiana every so often (messy, and would need lots of bags & storage for full bags), or get/make some type of firepit and burn the things mixed with scrap wood and hope we don't end up on Foxnews as the starting location of a 1000 acre grass fire!

    Any ideas?

    David

    David Griffin
    Tuliptree Craft
    s

  • #2
    Donate it to the local humane society for pet bedding.
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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    • #3
      Sawdust for pet bedding ?
      Not sure about that. I like to burn mine, really sparkles nice if you throw it in just right.
      What would stop you from simply tossing the bags in the trash ?

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      • #4
        Bags are expensive...I tend to re-use them over-&-over (until the duct tape won't hold up any longer). If I get the planer going I'll fill one up in less than a day. Planning on getting one of those separators, but then I end up with garbage cans full of chips ...

        XRay, have you had much issue with sparks? That's my main concern. There's a hay field right behind the house. Obviously I wouldn't burn it during drought...

        Oh, the fine scrollsaw dust makes a nice "foom" if you throw it in a fire from a distance--think "grain elevator explosion". (I've got an outdoor fireplace up here for large scrap).

        David

        David Griffin
        Tuliptree Craft
        s

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        • #5
          David, not too sure, but, back in the midwest, they take Christmas trees & chop them up for walking trails in the city & county. Don't know how a fine sawdust would work, but, you could ask someone at the city or county if they would want it for that purpose. Just a thought. You sure do have a lot of dust. Good Luck
          PERK

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          • #6
            I was referring to your planer chips for pet bedding, not the sawdust from say your tablesaw or scroll saw....<grin>
            "Still Montana Mike"

            "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
            Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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            • #7
              instead of piles of compost, we have some large plastic barrels with holes in them that we use. Is that an option for you?
              The small pieces of wood I end up with go in the campfire pit. I've tossed sawdust in the burn barrel, but don't like the sparks. I've seen too many forest fires myself.....
              T
              Theresa

              http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

              http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kofte View Post
                Bags are expensive...I tend to re-use them over-&-over (until the duct tape won't hold up any longer). If I get the planer going I'll fill one up in less than a day. Planning on getting one of those separators, but then I end up with garbage cans full of chips ...

                XRay, have you had much issue with sparks? That's my main concern. There's a hay field right behind the house. Obviously I wouldn't burn it during drought...

                Oh, the fine scrollsaw dust makes a nice "foom" if you throw it in a fire from a distance--think "grain elevator explosion". (I've got an outdoor fireplace up here for large scrap).
                Sparks is what I like - The dust burns quick, and is consumed almost instantly.
                So I wouldn't worry much about airborne embers of sawdust starting fires all over the place.
                I took a garbage bag full of sawdust to my camper, kids used it all up in 1 night. I had people from other campers gather round to watch the pyrotechnics, some asking me for some dust for their fires. Probably could have sold it by the ounce it was so popular.
                [Most of my dust lately comes from a CNC router. Not quite as fine as scroll dust].
                I do have a separator, would have to bang the vac filter every hour without it.
                Last edited by Xray; 08-03-2011, 03:58 PM.

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                • #9
                  Our county dump has a place for wood scraps that are free of nails and other construction debris; and they actually recycle some aspects of it. You may want to check with the local landfill in your area for what they allow and if they would recycle any of what you have as well.
                  ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

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                  • #10
                    Here in Southern California we have a separate green waste bin that grass clippings and any green waste is collected. I dispose of my shavings and scrap wood in that bin. It gets composted then sold to the company's that sell top soil.
                    Dan in So.Ca.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the ideas! Got to go off the net--down in KY we don't have internet/tv/phone/newspaper/radio/nada. Can get one news station on the radio, but let's just say "their views ain't mine"

                      David

                      David Griffin
                      Tuliptree Craft
                      s

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                      • #12
                        I would pick a place in the yard least visible to any one and scatter all my saw dust around. it will break down in no time and when you mow no will ever know. For the bigger pieces I would throw them in a box/tote and give them to someone that has a fireplace thay can use it for kindling.

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                        • #13
                          Well, we're in the new house now. Was able to speak with the guy the owner hired to take care of the landscaping; he said we could put a compost pile over in the corner. Just put some boards (1x12) up to mark the spot & when we leave he'll take what's left and scatter it around. Probably get some sacrificial boards and if they're not completely rotten when we leave we'll just burn them. It's far enough away that the termites shouldn't affect the house or anything else.

                          Thanks for all the suggestions!

                          David

                          David Griffin
                          Tuliptree Craft
                          s

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                          • #14
                            Kind of a late post, but we were on a cross country roadtrip for the past 28 days (Ca and back to NH - 8,457 miles - great trip). I have a full workshop and can produce quite a bit of dust and chips. I use some of it to dry up hazardous waste like paints etc. and my neighbors ask me for some to do the same. Our local recycling facility will accept paints etc as long as they are dried up. For the majority of my waste, a man at the recycling center has a couple of horses and he uses the waste only so long as I assure him it is only raw lumber (no MDF Ply treated etc. etc.). He has liked what I've given him and is always asking me for more!
                            It's never hot or cold in NH, it's always seasonal!

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                            • #15
                              Contact the local town/county and see if they provisions for dumping yard waste. Worst case you might need to buy the large paper "leaf bags".
                              Scott
                              Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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