5 Wood Chip Recycling Ideas

5 Wood Chip Recycling Ideas

Renting a brush chipper is a great way to quickly reduce unwanted branches, limbs and small trees into wood chips, clearing space for construction or landscaping. When you're done, you're left with a pile of small wood chips that are easy to transport and remove or recycle.

Instead of dumping your wood chips in your recycling bin — which is primarily intended for plastic, paper and glass — you can repurpose them for other projects around your home or garden, saving money and making small improvements. Here are some easy ideas for what to do with wood chips from a brush chipper.

1. Mulch Your Gardens

Wood chip mulch is a popular material used in gardening because it helps suppress weeds and support your plants. The mulch creates a thick top layer that regulates your soil's temperature and retains moisture, keeping your plants hydrated with fewer watering sessions. Over time, the wood chips begin to decompose, enriching the soil below and helping to improve its texture.

You can also use wood chip mulch around the borders of your gardens or property to prevent invasive species from encroaching on your yard space.

2. Add Smoke to Your Barbecue

Soak your wood chips for at least two hours and use them in your grill's smoker box, grill grate or on the coals of your barbecue to add an amazing smoky flavor to just about anything, including meats and vegetables. Keep your barbecue lid closed as long as possible to help your food soak up all of the rich flavors.

Experiment with different kinds of wood chips to achieve different flavors, or do some research online to find out what types of wood smokes best compliment different foods.

3. Repurpose as Animal Bedding

If you or someone you know has livestock, chickens or smaller animals like rabbits, you may be able to use your wood chips as bedding. The chips provide a warm, dry place for animals to rest, and a layer of bedding helps prevent muddy pens, which can make a mess and carry diseases.

Be sure to consult a vet before switching an animal's bedding to wood chips. Certain woods like black walnut and cedar can be dangerous to horses and other animals, and should not be used as bedding.

4. Cushion Paths and Play Areas

Wood chips are a great option for creating comfortable, natural paths and sitting areas in your yard or garden. When you lay down a thick bed of wood chips, they compress over time, suppressing weeds and creating a soft, spongy surface. Wood chip mulch also drains well, preventing mud puddles and messy walkways.

You can also use wood chips to create a cushioned area for children's playsets. The soft landing surface protects kids from bumps and bruises while resisting wear and staving off messy mud.

5. Compost It

Add your wood chips to your compost in small amounts for some excellent brown materials. As the wood breaks down, it will add tons of carbon and nutrients, creating a rich compost perfect for your garden. If you add more than a little, you'll want to balance it out with added green materials.

Get Started With a Rental Brush Chipper

If you're ready to get rid of some nuisance wood and create wood chips, you can rent a brush chipper from your local Cat® dealer through The Cat Rental Store. Browse equipment online and rent whatever you need from the people who do whatever it takes. To learn more about the products you see online or request a free rental quote, call 1-800-RENT-CAT.