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Community and Q&A

Can OSB be recycled/burnt?

GRanchs6Qi | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

I can’t seem to find a definitive answer on this. What can I do with the leftover offcuts of OSB besides adding them to the dumpster? It seems like the offcuts are strictly cradle-to-grave at the moment… Thanks

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    According to the Forest News — Georgia Forest Watch Quarterly Newsletter, Winter 2009, "the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency do have regulations already in place to prohibit burning of OSB (oriented strand board, widely used in commercial and home construction industries,) and other types of treated wood waste."

    Here's the link:

    But here's some food for thought — posted by an anonymous person with the nickname "Deutzman":
    "I work at an OSB mill and we send all our dust to an outfit that makes wood pellets. That dust has wax and resin in it just like the board." So when you buy wood pellets for your pellet stove, you may be burning the same stuff. Deutzman's comment was posted here:

  2. John Brooks | | #2

    Some of the "Green Builders" in North Texas chop up their waste wood (including OSB) in a wood chipper and use it as mulch for the landscape.

    I really do not know it this is a good practice or NOT?
    I am curious myself.

  3. Riversong | | #3

    As a long-time green builder, health advocate and firefighter, I can say definitively that no engineered wood materials or wood materials with any kind of treatment or finish should be burned.

    That's one of many excellent reasons to avoid the use of engineered or manufactured wood products like OSB (which is the worst wood panel material on many levels). I build with native lumber, some KD lumber and rough-sawn boards for sheathing, roof decking and subflooring. All scraps can be safely "recycled" in my woodstove or hot tub stove.

    Natural materials return safely to nature. Almost all man-made materials are problematic at every stage of their life cycle.

  4. Tom Kositzky | | #4

    Regarding John Brooks' observation about landscape mulch, the topic is covered in an APA publication that references several studies, one of which is a comprehensive University of Georgia study.

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