Posts tagged "MDF"

How can I reuse or recycle mixed/MDF sawdust?

We’ve had an email from Paul:

We’ve got an extraction system at our joinery shop which produces big bags of sawdust but we use a lot of MDF and other particle boards so it can’t be used for animal bedding. Do you know how they could be recycled?

We’ve covered wood shavings recycling before but the obvious answer there was animal bedding – lots of people want rid of them and lots of people want it! The MDF dust is a bit of a stick in the wheels though – as Paul says, there are issues using MDF dust in animal bedding — the dust is so fine it can easily be kicked up and lead to respiratory problems.

So what else can be done with it? I did wonder whether it could be pressed into wooden pellets for biomass boilers but apparently the glues/chemicals used in particle board construction may be problematic – an undesirable contaminant. Any other ideas?

(Photo by Vaderluck)

How can I reuse or recycle an MDF radiator cover?

We’ve had an email from Andi:

The last people who lived in our house installed MDF (i think) radiator covers everywhere which we don’t want any more. Do you have any idea what we can do with them? They’ve been painted and have cute cut out panels but block all the heat!

There still seem to be plenty of dedicated companies selling them so some people must still want them – perhaps offer yours on your local Freecycle/Freegle, to see if anyone wants them?

Both the MDF and paint mean that the wood can’t be burned or composted and is very hard to recycle, so aside from passing them on, we’re looking for reuses.

After realising how many types of vegetables I want to grow this year, my first thought would be to reuse the wood to make trough planters – the cut out bits could be used to make pretty fronts. Or similarly, they could be used to make blanket/storage boxes – the cuts outs would let the contents breath.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle laminate wooden flooring?

Laminate flooringWe’ve had an email from “The Hirst”:

We put wooden floor down and have about two boxes left over. The shop won’t taken them back because we opened all the packs by mistake and it’s not worth ebaying them because it would be enough for a full room or whatever. Can’t burn them because they’re MDF and laminate but I don’t want to just sling them into landfill. Any other options?

Don’t under estimate what people will buy on eBay – and to a greater extent, what people will use if given it on Freecycle. Two packs might be enough for a small bathroom or an narrow hallway.

If it was just a few slats though, and you didn’t want to keep them for spares, I bet you could do some fun things with them.

My father-in-love has mentioned people using it to make wood-effect table tops and I suspect there are loads of other places where you could use it in place of real wood in crafts/woodwork – it would create a strange but fun effect to have a number of different items in the same room (clocks, table-tops, coasters, picture frames, hell, pictures) made from the same pattern of wood.

Also, unless it’s really thick (and most of the laminate I’ve seen isn’t), it would make an awesome hardback cover for a notepad too.

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by Enoch Lai