Burning Scrap Lumber

by Bob
(Lambertville, NJ)

Question


I have a lot of scrap pieces of plywood and treated lumber from woodworking projects. Are they safe to use as kindling in a home fireplace or an outside fire pit?

Answer

Burning scrap lumber such as plywood or treated lumber in a fireplace or fire pit is not recommended for a variety of different reasons.

Plywood contains glues, adhesives and even chemicals. When plywood is burned it can create health problems if these contaminants are inhaled. They're also destructive to the environment.

Pressure treated wood gives off a toxic smoke when it burns. It is dangerous to burn any wood that has been treated with chemicals because they become airborne and can easily be inhaled by people nearby.

Burning the wood in your fireplace also creates a problem because the glues and adhesives from the plywood can adhere to the chimney walls creating unwanted buildup.

Finally, many states have laws that make it illegal to burn construction materials such as treated lumber and plywood.

I hope this helps!

Nick
Firewood For Life

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