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Workshop Waste

How do you get rid of yours?

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Mr Maguire05/02/2009 22:18:06
265 forum posts
1 photos
Hi all
After seeing one of OPJs pictures of his chipping in waste bags i got wondering how people get rid of there workshop waste.
I 'm fortunate to be able to burn all my shavings and i have a log burner for my offcuts, so my waste is benificial to me, but im sure its not the same for everyone.
How do you get rid of workshop waste?
does it cost?
Do you find yourself having to plan around your waste?
Do you have any waste saving tips?
I Look forward to hearing from you.
Olly Parry-Jones05/02/2009 22:31:06
2776 forum posts
636 photos
Hi Richard,
I always end up taking my bags of shavings and sawdust to the tip - they're happy to let me empty the bags in to the 'Green' recycling bins. I've considered trying to offload it on Freecycle (although I believe it's too dusty for small animals) but, the problem then is that I'd also be giving the bags away, which would increase my costs.
I used to work for a Carpenter who wasn't allowed to take his "Trade Waste" up there so, whenever it came to hiring a skip, most of his shavings would end up in there!
Larger offcuts of mine are boxed up and given to my neighbour. I'd love a wood-burning stove myself but, I really don't have the space. Anything that's too small for burning (...!!) also goes to the tip.
At the moment then, I'm only paying the small costs of fuel to take it three miles up the road. I wonder how things might change if or when I go full-time at this?
Sparky05/02/2009 22:39:17
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Hi Richard
As I only seem to do smallish projects, the shavings are usually from turning or sanding dust, I use a clear bin bag and leave it for recycling when the bin men come round to collect the other bags.........I've never had any problems and the bags are always full.........just like Olly's 
Andy Bell06/02/2009 10:57:29
156 forum posts
43 photos
Hi Richard,
I asked around our village for folks with rabits, ferets etc. Now I've got a waiting list, all I ask for is a few bin liners in return. So thats all the planer/router shavings and sawdust delt with. All the off cuts used for kindling in the log burner. 
Roger was asking about wood burners, I found some stoves a while back on t'interweb designed to shavings and sawdust, could be good allround solution.
Mike Garnham06/02/2009 17:03:38
4114 forum posts
1 photos
I compost goes really well with grass clippings, and locks away a little bit of carbon for a few years. The off-cuts go to a friend with a woodburner.
Oddjob06/02/2009 19:46:37
1635 forum posts
79 photos
Please be aware that a lot of wood waste, even bark,  is not good for gardens.  You should make sure that it is really well decomposed (composted) before you use it.  If it isn't well decomposed it locks up the nitrogen in the soil making it unavailable to the plants.  Unfortunately, composting releases most of the carbon dioxide held in the wood but that's biology I'm afraid.
If you want to use wood waste before it is well decomposed you should add ammonium nitrate at about 3kg per cubic metre.  I imagine though that that might be against your 'organic' principles.
George Arnold06/02/2009 19:46:54
1834 forum posts
191 photos
 All my  shaving etc from mainly turning go into the council garden waste bag,any offcuts I give to a  mate of mine to burn , he brings me logs for turning , so it works out well, the wife says she would like a wood burning stove, but I don't have enough waste to keep one going and would have to buy in logs.
Chris Keir09/02/2009 19:15:49
80 forum posts
34 photos
Oddjob is right, wood can be a disadvantage in a compost.
I keep poultry and grow veg  and my daughter has  guinea pigs and I  burn offcuts and solid waste on a woodburner.
Some time ago I gave some thought about the G pig bedding, no good for the compost, at least not unless I give it 3 years to properly break down, and also the ash from the woodburner needed getting rid off. Not much ash though, a bucket a month tops if a woodburner is burning properly.
I eventually worked a way that used everything to advantage:
The woodshavings that do not get burned are used for the animal bedding. which then goes on the chicken house floor  mixed with the usual straw  , the chicken and goose muck and urine help breakdown the timber content more quickly, when its time to clean out the birds the ash gets thrown on the floor and mixed in which helps soak up moisture thus keeping the chicken house floor dry. Then it goes on the compost, and poultry manure is the most ferocious degrader of organic materials so the wood shavings are gone in months rather than years.. Tha ash also has phosphates and other trace minerals which help the soil.
The birds lay eggs, I fry them on the woodurner, the compost grows great veg which if we dont eat the birds will. So no waste. Not even eggshells. Bake these on the woodburner and grind them up and mix it with chicken feed and it repalces some of the protein lost in producing the eggs in the first place.
Works well so far, and looking at other ways to make use of things that are otherwise waste. So the only waste from my shop is empty plastic milk bottles, you can only use so many scoops for chicken feed  made from them !
Oddjob10/02/2009 11:58:17
1635 forum posts
79 photos
I admire your dedication and committment to the environment - keep it up.
I don't want to be a Jonah but I do urge you to beware of using a lot of fine ash in your garden.  Wood ash contains only very small amounts of phosphate - it is insignificant.  However, fine ash does tend to fill up the air spaces in your soil and that is quite detrimental.  You need good air-filled porocity in your comost and soil.
Chris Keir10/02/2009 13:45:29
80 forum posts
34 photos
Thanks Oddjob,
I actually did the  working out of proportions and over a year the ash content of the compost would be something less than 3 %, and this would obviously be further reduced by the amount of compost per given amount of soil. and I will also use some up on a bed of ash in the bottom of cold frames as well, but I appreciate your comment and you are quite correct. The soil is good to start with fortunately, the whole garden was given over to 100 pigs to roam years ago, and after that just growing spuds, so very rich and very friable.
As it happens I have just spoken with a firewood/ log supplier,  ( not enough offcuts to keep the fire going )  seems he is a tree surgeon and the timber is all stored hardwoods. cherry, ash, oak and believe it or not elm!
I am going to have a word with him about what sizes are available before he breaks them down into logs.especially the elm. So another added bonus in the cycle.
will spencer10/02/2009 14:50:15
21 forum posts
i'm sorry to admit that my waste gets put into the skip at work.most of it is sawdust ,the shavings from the planer help the gerbils in my sons room,when i get enough offcuts that can be used feasibly i take them across to the school.
Chris Keir10/02/2009 17:01:54
80 forum posts
34 photos
Thats a good point actually, giving offcuts to schools and colleges, you would be surprised what they are grateful to get. Even small pieces if MDF which they can hand out as samples so the students know how to identify materials. I have given bags and boxes of offcuts to primary, secondary, and  special needs schools in the past
When they get hardwoods its as if you have given them the crown jewels!
It gets rid of what you can`t use and  you are also hopefully helping spark an initial interest
in woodwork in the students who may go on to take it up as a trade or even as a hobby .
Knowledge is never wasted ( unlike bank bailouts )
Mr Maguire11/02/2009 23:22:10
265 forum posts
1 photos
Hi all
I've certanily found this very interesting, I especially like the idea about giving offcuts to schools, that is something that i'm definately going to do in the future, rather than chopping them all up for starter wood.
I'm relitively new to the whole planner thinknesser thing, and I am staggered at the amount of chippings they produce. to get all the parts to my workbench planned, I ended up with nearly 20 bin liners full of chippings. I know its not every day that you need to prepare that much timber, but still, for some i can imagine it to be a real pain to despose off.
Thanks for all the replies.
Olly Parry-Jones12/02/2009 18:37:03
2776 forum posts
636 photos
Richard, I'm not surprised at the amount of waste you've created having seen the size of the bench you're building!!
Have you tried offering them on Freecycle? That could be a good way to make the mountain disappear... You never know, you may even meet someone who's in need of a skilled furniture maker!

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