Any project involving wood is big. Whether you’re cleaning up the yard or adding a new room to your home, you will have some lumber left over. Now, you need to know what to do with it. Don’t assume you can treat all wood the same and simply throw it in your regular trash. Leftover lumber is not like other items you might dispose of. There is a special way you need to handle it, and we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about disposing of lumber.
Disposing of Construction Lumber
Construction lumber falls into a couple of different categories. These include untreated lumber and pressure-treated wood. Treated wood has a green tint that will fade to gray as it ages. You can’t recycle painted lumber unless you first scrape off the layer of treatment.
You need to dispose of these chemicals separately because of the harm they can do to the environment. You can dispose of untreated construction lumber the same way you throw out yard waste, but it’s always better to recycle construction materials to help the environment. Consider holding onto it for another project in the future.
Look around your home and see if you need some extra storage space. You can always use that scrap lumber for extra shelves in the garage, bathroom, laundry room, or closets. Think about making a new shoe rack or end table for one of the bedrooms.
Before throwing away any of the leftover lumber, make sure you pull out the nails with a claw hammer. The nails can destroy the equipment when the lumber comes to a recycling center or injure anyone working with the wood. If you come across some tough nails, notify the recycling company before releasing the lumber into their possession.
Disposing of Damaged Lumber
Damaged lumber, or yard lumber, is a little different. First, you need to contact the city’s waste department. They will tell you how to handle the wood in your yard. Some cities will collect yard waste like regular trash, while others require an appointment.
Make the process a little easier for the yard waste collecting service by gathering up the wood and tying the pieces together. Pair any pieces that match and break off any branches that get in the way. Then, start a new pile for the discarded pieces. Wrap everything into a bundle with twine.
Make sure the piles adhere to the city’s regulations. The collection service may refuse to take the piles if some are too large. If you come across a particularly large piece of lumber, cut it down as much as you can. Notify the collectors of the piece so they are prepared when they arrive at your home.
Place the wood near your regular trash, or consider placing it inside one of our dumpster rentals from Vine Disposal. We’ve got sizes to accommodate any project or leftover lumber you need to dispose of.
Disposing of Furniture Lumber
When you dispose of your wood furniture, you can’t throw the pieces in whole if you plan to use a dumpster rental. If the furniture is damaged, it makes the most sense to break it down as much as possible, making it easier to recycle the pieces and get better use out of them.
Additionally, breaking down the furniture makes more room inside the container for any other items you may have to deal with. You might need to contact your city’s waste management department again for furniture pieces. They have additional regulations you must follow.
Most of your furniture wood has probably been treated. You’ll need to remove any chemicals from the surface before trying to group it with the untreated wood. Look it over and see if a sealant or paint was applied to the lumber. Get a scraper and remove the chemicals outside so you don’t make a mess in your home.
Wear protective gear so you don’t get any shavings on your skin or accidentally inhale toxic chemicals. Wear goggles, gloves, and a face mask. If you want to make the process go smoother, there are paint removers you might be able to use a paint remover. Even when using those products, you need to wear protective gear.
You’ll find three types of chemicals on treated wood:
- Oilborne chemicals
- Waterborne chemicals
Disposing of Treated Lumber
If you’re using treated wood for any projects, you need to consider if it will take place indoors or outdoors. After determining this, think about how you intend to dispose of the treated lumber. You need to think about who or what might encounter it after you throw it away. You don’t want it to cause harm to any living thing.
Never dispose of treated lumber near a water source of any kind. Federal regulations only accept bridges and docks as forms of treated lumber near bodies of water. You want to keep treated wood out of the waste stream and reuse as much of it as possible. Utilize every piece of the treated lumber before disposing of it.
If you must dispose of treated lumber:
- Avoid burning it. State statutes prevent open fires for treated lumber. You need to confine the burning to one of your state’s designated sites after ascertaining a permit from local authorities.
- Homeowners working on home improvement projects should take the treated lumber to their local landfill and place it in the designated location.
- Construction workers and contractors should work directly with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to dispose of bulky waste properly. Preferably, they find a site permitted for landfilling.
With every disposal option, it’s ideal to have a container that can fit all the leftover lumber. Look into Vine Disposal’s roll-off dumpster rentals in Lawrenceville, GA. We know a lot about dealing with leftover wood and other home projects that may leave you with a little mess on your hands.
Following this guideline is essential. You never want to start a project and get fined for not handling the aftermath correctly. Everything you need to know about disposing of lumber is right here, and we’ve also got tips beyond wood knowledge. For information, visit our website. While you’re there, shop around too!