Discussion:
MDF Waste Disposal
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Terry Minshall
2005-08-03 19:10:14 UTC
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I work in the Waste Management/Recycling field and we currently have a big
problem disposing of MDF offcuts which are coated with a finish coat. The
method we use is to send this material to landfill which is contrary to our
stated policy. We have carried successful experiments with MDF dust which we
have incorporated in our composting system, producing a good quality end
product. Any suggestions for the problems with the offcuts would gratefully
received.

Regards

Terry Minshall
John Beardmore
2005-08-03 23:26:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Terry Minshall
I work in the Waste Management/Recycling field and we currently have a big
problem disposing of MDF offcuts which are coated with a finish coat. The
method we use is to send this material to landfill which is contrary to our
stated policy. We have carried successful experiments with MDF dust which we
have incorporated in our composting system, producing a good quality end
product. Any suggestions for the problems with the offcuts would gratefully
received.
What's the finish coat consist of ?


Cheers, J/.
--
John Beardmore
Keef101
2006-07-25 09:02:48 UTC
Permalink
How about making the manufacturers responsible collectively for recycling?
Post by Terry Minshall
I work in the Waste Management/Recycling field and we currently have a big
problem disposing of MDF offcuts which are coated with a finish coat. The
method we use is to send this material to landfill which is contrary to our
stated policy. We have carried successful experiments with MDF dust which we
have incorporated in our composting system, producing a good quality end
product. Any suggestions for the problems with the offcuts would gratefully
received.
Regards
Terry Minshall
David
2006-07-27 18:21:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Terry Minshall
I work in the Waste Management/Recycling field and we currently have a big
problem disposing of MDF offcuts which are coated with a finish coat. The
method we use is to send this material to landfill which is contrary to our
stated policy. We have carried successful experiments with MDF dust which we
have incorporated in our composting system, producing a good quality end
product. Any suggestions for the problems with the offcuts would gratefully
received.
Regards
Terry Minshall
Hello Terry

Interested in your waste project but i thought MDF contained urea
formaledyde, most unpleasant stuff, is this good for compost ?
Regards
David
John Beardmore
2006-07-28 01:26:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by David
Post by Terry Minshall
I work in the Waste Management/Recycling field and we currently have a big
problem disposing of MDF offcuts which are coated with a finish coat. The
method we use is to send this material to landfill which is contrary to our
stated policy. We have carried successful experiments with MDF dust which we
have incorporated in our composting system, producing a good quality end
product. Any suggestions for the problems with the offcuts would gratefully
received.
Regards
Terry Minshall
Interested in your waste project but i thought MDF contained urea
formaledyde, most unpleasant stuff, is this good for compost ?
Urea is a fertilised and formaldehyde a reactive volatile material that
probably won't hang around as formaldehyde for too long ?


Cheers, J/.
--
John Beardmore
David
2006-07-28 16:11:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Beardmore
Urea is a fertilised and formaldehyde a reactive volatile material that
probably won't hang around as formaldehyde for too long ?
Cheers, J/.
--
John Beardmore
Thank you John but 'probably' does seem a bit vague for a substance
rated as a carcinogen in certain forms. Whether composting renders the
formaldehyde inert is the question, or a question among others. I
personally am not convinced that putting some of said compost on my
veggie patch is good for ones health.

Regards
David
John Beardmore
2006-07-30 22:07:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by David
Post by John Beardmore
Urea is a fertilised and formaldehyde a reactive volatile material that
probably won't hang around as formaldehyde for too long ?
Cheers, J/.
--
John Beardmore
Thank you John but 'probably' does seem a bit vague for a substance
rated as a carcinogen in certain forms.
:) Well, you'll usually encounter it as a solution or a gas...

These things can be hard to quantify. If you're serious about it, have
you tried to find dose / response curves for carcinogenic and toxic
effects ?

The website below identifies it as a "probable human carcinogen", but
what isn't ? And is even dimly sensible to try and avoid all such ? At
what concentration should you start to care, or even apply the
'precautionary principle' ?
Post by David
Whether composting renders the
formaldehyde inert is the question,
or a question among others.
It may well not, but my point was more that it's volatile, so as it
forms by the decomposition of the polymer, the bulk of it may well
evaporate.

Keep in mind that this stuff isn't hugely carcinogenic. It's been
sloshed about in laboratories for decades, and people have generally
feared its acute corrosive toxicity much more than anything else. I've
been exposed to concentrations you can choke on a few times (probably
thousands of times more than you'd get in your compost), and I'm not
expecting to die of it. Many old biology labs used to stink of it.
Post by David
I
personally am not convinced that putting some of said compost on my
veggie patch is good for ones health.
Well, as long as it was well turned, and I didn't have to eat the
compost itself, moderate amounts wouldn't bother me. Though the point
you raise is one that those like Friends Of The Earth, who seem to think
that composting can play a much bigger part in waste disposal, would do
well to consider.


To quote

http://www.npi.gov.au/database/substance-info/profiles/45.html

"Formaldehyde occurs in forest fires, animal wastes, microbial
products of biological systems, and plant volatiles. It can also
be formed in seawater by photochemical processes".


So - it's a natural product and fairly ubiquitous.

A quick google might get you some perspective on how much difference
your contribution might make ?


I guess you need to establish

how much material you have to dispose of
how much formaldehyde that will give off
how fast it will be given off
the concentration that will be reached in the pile
how you can control that by turning the compost
how much formaldehyde veg growing in the compost might take up
how long it persists in the veg
what happens when you cook the veg
how much harm that persisting formaldehyde might do to you.


It's an interesting question if you have to the time to research it.
Let us now what you find.


If it's not a silly question, have you asked NISP or the environment
agency ?

As an alternative, can people that make MDF munge it up and make it back
into MDF, effectively reusing both the fibre and the polymer ?


Cheers, J/.
--
John Beardmore
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