Markets for Wood-Shop Waste

A woodworker who generates high volumes of dust and shavings from wood and MDF panels explores the recycling options. March 12, 2014

I'm looking for information on sawdust removal/recycling. I currently have all my sawdust picked up to be used as a fuel for boilers. I'm losing this connection and will have nowhere to dispose of my sawdust. I send 12 tons per week of mixed species (ash, maple, poplar and MDF). I need someone close to pick up. I currently blow into two box trucks, but have the capability to drop into open containers as well.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor R:
Ask around a feed or farm store. Chicken and horse people beg for shavings and sawdust around here. That MDF might be a kicker for the horses, walnut definitely is.

From contributor N:
Find a wood pellet manufacturer or buy the equipment and make them. A local sawmill/cabinet shop by me bought pellet making equipment and they distribute them to dealers to sell for pellet stoves. It's been profitable for them.

From the original questioner:
Would the poultry farm have a problem with the fire rated MDF shavings?

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Poultry would not like the adhesive that is in OSB. Contact the state forestry people in FL and GA for possible users, especially fuel. The adhesive content from OSB makes it unsuitable for wood fuel pellets.

Regarding OSB that has adhesive, ducks will eat the wood until they are about 6 weeks old; maybe other poultry will as well. In any case, fine dust is never used as it causes respiratory issues. Also, due to molds that develop in hardwoods when used for poultry, softwoods are strongly preferred.

From contributor S:
Unless you separate the dust, shavings and MDF you will have a very hard time. I was only able to get them to take what came out of the planer, moulder and jointer. I don't think anyone will take MDF dust. Try searching for a biomass energy company or an incinerator electric producer.

From contributor N:
I used to give most of it to an outfit that makes Raku pottery. They have a pit dug in the ground and use the sawdust to fire it and give it a fancy finish.