Can You Put Wood in The Recycle Bin? (7 Alternatives)

Have you got some leftover wood after your home renovation? What to do with them? You can probably still use them for other projects. If not, you may drop them off at a local recycling center near you.

What if it is still too far and it may cost you a lot? Can you put wood in the recycle bin at home?

A long time ago, the idea of wood recycling might have sounded weird. Since the existence of curbside services, the idea may be considerable. You may think to yourself like this:

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Can I put wood in the recycle bin?

Since paper is made from trees, you would probably assume that the answer is yes. The truth is, it is not safe to recycle wood through curbside recycling. Paper is safe for that, but wood is another story.

In general, most recycling centers can only do household items. Mixed papers and plastics are just some of them. When your recycling stuff is picked up and sent to the sorting center, they will be sorted based on their materials. The sorting centers do not have the right tools to recycle wood.

Another thing to consider is whether the wood is treated or finished. If that is the case, the sorting center may have trouble separating types of wood-based on whether it is finished or not (raw). It means recycling wood is not safe.

However, that does not mean it is impossible, though. There are other alternatives that you can try. Here is what you can do:

1. Check with your trash and recycling services around.

If there is an offer to pick up wood for their curbside services – even on just a specific day – then you can ask them to help you.

2. Find local recycling centers that only accept wood.

To save time, you might want to Google search recycling centers that only accept wood.

What If You Can’t Find Any Recycling Centers For Recycling Wood?

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You are lucky if you can find at least one that is closest. What happens if there is none? Can you put wood in the recycle bin?

Remember, when there is a will, there is a way. There are still five (5) other ways to deal with the wood planks you no longer need:

1. Repurposing it

If your new wood planks are only cluttering at home but still intact, do something about them. You can either repurpose old wood as new furniture, like chairs or tables. You can even decorate your home with wood, for example, wooden photo frames.

2. Mulch-creating

If the wood is untreated, it is time for mulch-creating. You can use the mulch later for your garden. It helps to improve your plants’ health. Of course, make sure that the wood is clean and raw, not treated or finished.

3. Make it a compost pile addition

Since wood is naturally brown, do you know that it also contains a lot of carbon? Besides shredding it into mulch, you can also make it as a compost pile addition. That way, you can balance the compost that is already rich in nitrogen. Just like the second alternative, make sure that the wood is untreated.

4. Selling it

If you run out of ideas, you may sell it. You do not need to check whether the wood is treated or finished. Believe it or not, some people are willing to buy unused wood from you.

5. Giving it away

This alternative’s result is much quicker than the previous one. You can either offer anyone you know your unused wood or put a “free wood” sign outside your door. There will be people interested in it. Just wait and see.

6. Burning it

It is also another way you can do with your unused wood. Especially during winter (if you live in a four-seasoned country), all you have to do is burn it all. You can have a campfire with your friends and family in your backyard. You can also chop the wood into smaller pieces, plus twigs and all, before burning them all in the fireplace.

7. Dropping it off at a facility for hazardous wastes

It is your last resort if your wood is treated or finished. The chemicals in the finish may contain hazardous materials. Re-using it may cause health problems, either for people or plants. So, how do you get rid of them safely?

The answer? Just drop it off at a facility for hazardous waste. You may need to pay them a small fee, especially if you are part of a business related to wood. If not, some of these places do not even ask you to pay for them to take your wood.


Now you know the answer already. No worries, there is always a way to do with your unused lumber. 

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