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Thread: What do you do with plywood scraps?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Posts
    1,081
    MDF and scraps of construction grade plywood/particle board etc.. go in the dumpster.

    Cabinet grade plywood scraps get saved as long as they are big enough to cut safely on the table saw.

    I save pieces of baltic birch regardless of size since it is so nice for jig making etc...

    Hardwood scraps that are usable get saved, and the rest get cut down to burn. From time to time I go through the good scraps and purge some of them as well.
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  2. #17
    the point is that you definitely do not want to breath the fumes from burning MDF and probably not from burning plywood either such as you would if you burn it in your shop stove or sit around the firepit while burning it as has been mentioned by more than 1 person as how they dispose of such stuff nobody lives forever but there is no point in being careless either

    just trying to help keep everyone safe and healthy as possible

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Nemeth View Post
    What is the environmental impact of burning the glue in plywood?
    I would be more immediately concerned with the health impact. I wouldn't burn it.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    96
    Exactly why burning plywood is a bad idea. Regardless if you are cooking over it or not, plywood should not be burnt. If you can't use it, toss it. Much better for everyone in a dump than in the air.
    This is true for treated lumber as well, etc. Burning plywood/mdf is no different than burning anything else that belongs in the trash.

    The argument that more "bad stuff" will get put in the air hauling it to the dump is flawed at best and complete non-sense at worst. The trucks will make the trash run regardless if the ply is in there, and they have a little thing called catalytic converters.
    Last edited by Mr. Jeff Smith; 05-09-2010 at 1:32 AM.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Jeff Smith View Post
    The trucks will make the trash run regardless if the ply is in there, and they have a little thing called catalytic converters.
    Speaking of flawed and nonsense.....

    Catalytic converters, believe it or not, do not make the vehicle pollution free. The trucks will run, yes, but how many trips will they make if everyone throws their plywood out instead of burning it? If everyone throws their stuff away instead of burning what they can will the environmental impact of the disposal be less than burning even if the added disposal means more trucks have to run more trips and more land fills fill up faster requiring more landfills to be created (along with the emissions created by the trucks/tractors required to create the landfill)? Even still, I would be willing to be that more stuff is burned by the disposal companies than you think. Just because they haul it away from you doesn't mean they don't burn it. I agree that maybe you don't want to breathe the burning fumes of plywood and MDF on a constant basis for many many years. I'd even go so conservative as to say don't burn it in your wood stove that heats your shop. But I don't think it's going to do any harm to burn your plywood and MDF scraps in your fire pit. I live in the valley of the sun so we don't burn stuff unless we have to. It's hot enough here already, don't need to add any more warmth. But if I lived in an area that justified burning for warmth or trash disposal I would without reservation.


  6. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    295
    I use mine for jigs, pieces to sticker rough cut and to place between clamps and finished pieces to prevent marring. WHen I get too much scrap, I burn it.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Weiss View Post
    Speaking of flawed and nonsense.....

    Catalytic converters, believe it or not, do not make the vehicle pollution free. The trucks will run, yes, but how many trips will they make if everyone throws their plywood out instead of burning it? If everyone throws their stuff away instead of burning what they can will the environmental impact of the disposal be less than burning even if the added disposal means more trucks have to run more trips and more land fills fill up faster requiring more landfills to be created (along with the emissions created by the trucks/tractors required to create the landfill)? Even still, I would be willing to be that more stuff is burned by the disposal companies than you think. Just because they haul it away from you doesn't mean they don't burn it. I agree that maybe you don't want to breathe the burning fumes of plywood and MDF on a constant basis for many many years. I'd even go so conservative as to say don't burn it in your wood stove that heats your shop. But I don't think it's going to do any harm to burn your plywood and MDF scraps in your fire pit. I live in the valley of the sun so we don't burn stuff unless we have to. It's hot enough here already, don't need to add any more warmth. But if I lived in an area that justified burning for warmth or trash disposal I would without reservation.

    As someone who spent years working in waste disposal/management I can tell you that most of your assumptions are wrong. (At least in the states of Indiana, Oregon and Colorado) Furthermore, I never claimed that trucks are pollution free, rather what I was trying to imply is that trucks have mitigation in place to remove the most harmful of pollutants.

    If someone NEEDS to burn plywood in an emergency to stay warm, go for it. But I can tell you with certainty that there is less environmental impact by properly disposing of it. Google the issue, there is plenty of data out there on this subject; and while there is plenty of debate around it all the waste professionals I know that woodwork, toss the scraps. But then again, maybe they just want the business.
    Last edited by Mr. Jeff Smith; 05-09-2010 at 6:30 PM. Reason: spelling

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