Disposal of sawdust

Who wants your sawdust and shavings? Here are some ideas, from gardeners to gerbils. February 13, 2001

How do you dispose of your sawdust? I have a truckload of red cedar dust that I can't get rid of.

Forum Responses
People with horses want all the eastern red cedar sawdust they can get. They are happy to pay $10 per pickup truck or $20 per trailer (any size).

I never have enough sawdust. Some I spread in my fields, and some I dump in low spots to build them up.

Sawdust?? I think you actually mean organic plant and garden mulch, don't you?

Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor

I haul my sawdust to a man who has a tub grinder and he mixes it with his bark to make mulch. My guy takes all he can get from everyone. Chips, sawdust, slabs, edgings, everything--and doesn't charge us a disposal fee.

I truck mine to a local farmer. He uses it for bedding the animals or mixes it with manure to spread on the fields.

From the original questioner:
I forgot to mention the dust is western red cedar. Around here everyone avoids putting it in their gardens because it is very acidic and will kill your plants. We cannot even water our garden with runoff from our cedar shake roof.

Another little note: sawdust from a chainsaw mill will be contaminated with B&C oil. You may want to be careful where you use it!

I know one guy who used to put his aromatic wood slabs through a planer. He then took the shavings and dried them in an old clothes dryer, bagged them and sold them to pet stores. At that time, he was getting 35 cents a pound. I don't know if you can do this with sawdust.

I saw a small mill that took its eastern red cedar sawdust (this is the species that smells like gerbils) to a feed mill and made large pellets that he then sold as aromatic sticks to put in your dresser, etc. Western red cedar is a different matter, of course.

Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor

I saw a fellow blowing his shavings into a wagon and pulling it over to his small sawdust fire boiler/dry kilns.