Tossing your sawdust and scraps in the trash isn’t the most environmentally friendly way to declutter. The best strategy is to plan your purchases so you have as little scrap as possible – but no matter how hard you try, you’re still going to have little bits and pieces to offload. If you’re at a loss for ideas, here are a few things you can do with your sawdust and scraps to keep them out of a landfill and give them new life.
Donate Scrap Wood
If you have larger scraps that you aren’t using, consider donating them to a charity. Habitat for Humanity can always make use of building materials, and the items they can’t use go to their ReStores – home improvement thrift stores, the profits of which further go to funding their mission of providing affordable housing to low income families.
Smaller scraps and soft woods can find new life at the hands of youth programs. Your local scouting organizations can almost always use wood for a project, be it community improvement or crafts or working toward a merit badge.
If scouting is a bust, call around to your local schools with shop classes or make contact with the activities coordinators at nursing homes and assisted living facilities to see if they can make use of your extra wood.
Recycle Wood Scraps and Sawdust
Check with your local recycling facilities to see if they’ll accept sawdust, wood chips and shavings. If you have a local program that creates mulch, these items are in high demand – unless you’re working with woods that are phytotoxic to plants (for example, walnut and cedar).
If your local recycling facility isn’t equipped to handle excess wood, offer it up on sales groups and networking groups like Craigslist or Freecycle: plenty of gardeners can use sawdust in their compost, and shavings, scraps and chips can be incorporated into landscaping.
Keep Sawdust for Cleanup
Sawdust is a pain in the neck to clean up, but it can actually help you keep your workspace and home clean. If you’ve got small children or someone in your home with a shaky stomach, sawdust is the perfect material to absorb vomit. In the workshop, a pile of moist sawdust can be swept across the floor to absorb fine particulates and grime. While it’ll still go in the trash afterward, at least it’s been put to good use.
Get Crafty with Scraps
A little bit of wood glue and a pile of scraps, as well as your latent creativity, can make for some nifty scrap wood projects. Mosaic style jewelry or trinket boxes, planter boxes and even chairs can be cobbled together from scraps from your workshop. If you have no use for the finished objects, give them as gifts, sell them at your local craft fair or flea market or donate them to someone who can use them.
What to Do with Scraps and Sawdust
No scrap is too small for use — sawdust included. If you’re keen on giving new life to your scraps, consider a craft project to get your creative juices flowing. You can find new uses for sawdust and scraps around your home, including cleaning and organizing. If you’d rather offload your scraps and dust, consider donating them to an organization that can make good use of them.