The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory (USFPL) classifies wood waste as follows: wood residues from lumber facilities, construction and demolition wastes, and municipal solid waste (MSW). Materials from old furniture, from the yard, as well as old newspapers, are some of the most common items from residences, which fall under MSW. Facilities accepting wood waste collection recycle the materials so they can be made useful again.
Making waste lumber useful again
Untreated lumber usually ends up as chipboard lumber, plant stands, and even wooden toys. Treated, varnished, and painted lumber is given a different treatment. Some of these pieces may contain toxic materials, which does not make them ideal for re-use as mulch, or for burning. In some cases, treated wood releases chromium and arsenic, which are carcinogenic. To be safe and sure, do not use treated wood for fuel. Painted lumber can still be used in home improvement projects if you remove the finish.
Some items of waste lumber are refurbished instead of recycled. In this approach, broken items get a new lease on life. Workers take out the damaged parts or repair the parts that are not useful anymore. Refurbishing also endeavors to make something of the component that is still intact.
Lumber recycling has many benefits, which is why hundreds of facilities are now operating in the United States. Much has been discussed about the benefits if recycling, but many homeowners in the U.S. still do not realize the importance of the practice. We know that recycling lumber saves and preserves trees. What we have to think about is how recycling lumber reduces the need for landfills. If we recycle more, we help lengthen the time that landfills are useful and safe to use.
Discarded lumber can still be useful if they end up in the right hands. If you have treated or untreated lumber, bring them to recycling and refurbishing facilities for processing.