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Composting Particle Board? Empty Composting Particle Board?

Post  dk54321 on Mon 21 Aug 2017 - 9:56

I build things out of salvaged particle board—helps keep it out of the landfill. There are always scraps left over that are too small to use. From what I've read online, particle board is sawdust with urea formaldehyde as a binder. Burning it is not recommended because it releases formaldehyde into the air. When I looked for other ways to dispose of it, some people asked if it could be composted. Most of the answers were from people who didn't know. The either said, "It's a chemical, so of course not," or, "I don't know, so don't try it." 

I did find a few who actually looked into it, and it turns out urea formaldehyde is a high-nitrogen fertilizer, so they tried composting it, and it worked just fine. What wasn't clear was what is the carbon-nitrogen balance of particle board. The sawdust is high-carbon and the urea formaldehyde is high-nitrogen, but what is the balance between the two? 

Has anyone here tried it? Did you add high-carbon or high-nitrogen material? Or did it compost just fine by itself?
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Post  sanderson on Mon 21 Aug 2017 - 11:04

dk, Our recycle operation does not accept plywood or particle board. They chip plain wood and use it in making compost (many moths) that can be picked up by the public. I would use that as a guideline for whether you use your scraps. Using any wood as part of composting throws the C:N ratio way high and will require lots of greens, maybe some blood meal or healthy urine.

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on Mon 21 Aug 2017 - 13:18

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