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Getting Rid of Masonite Board and Hardboard

News > Getting Rid of Masonite Board and Hardboard

The companies delivering Sydney's Skip Bins have become extremely focused on what waste is placed in their skip bins so it is very good idea to understand what waste you have and how it will affect you when using skip bins. Disposing of Masonite is not something that comes up a lot in everyday conversations so we  thought a little more information would be helpful for those who find themselves wondering "How can I dispose of this hardboard"?

Well first up, what is Masonite? Has it got anything to do with masonry?  Is it some sort of fibrous silica or ceramic material?

No, No and No. It might surprise some of you, but Masonite is what I knew as "Hardboard" growing it up. It was a material made of wood that was used in furniture making and building. So, as far as I know there is no masonry, fibrous silica or ceramic material in it at all. Yes, it is good old hardboard made from wood fibers.

Hardboard or MasonsiteI say good old material as I can remember it from when I was a kid over 50 years ago. I can remember my Dad using it to build cupboards around the house.  He would create a timber frame use pine or similar inexpensive wood and then finish it off with the hardboard what would be used to cover it. In this way he would make built in cupboards, popularly known today in Australia as "built-ins". He used this method to make airing cupboards which was a special type of cupboard in which the water heater or hot water tank was located. And the cupboard was a good place to keep bedding in to keep it warm and dry.

Hard board can be manufactured in two ways. A wet method and a dry method can be used to manufacture hardboard and often the product of the wet method is known as Masonite which is a brand name.   Hardboard is similar to particle board although it is much denser and as a result is stronger and harder (surprise, surprise, "hardboard" duh).

So to get to the crux of it hardboard is made of exploded wood fibers that are compressed into a wooden board,usually shiny, smooth on one side and rough patterned (with chis crosses) on the other.  Hardboard is used very frequently, if not most popularly, in the manufacture of internal house doors which as hollow save some internal paper reinforcing.  Next time you see a hole in an internal door check the construction out.

Hardboard has a density (or weight per cubic meter) of between 500 - 1,400 kg/m³.  So like a lot of wood products if it is flat packed into a skip bin, the contents of the skip bin are very heavy.  Conversely if it is placed in skip bins while still part of a built item them the contents are likely to contain a lot of air between the sheets of the hardboard and hence the overall density of the contents of the skip bin will be much, much lower and would be treat as a general light waste.  Take for example the situation where a skip bin was filled with old internal doors.  As the doors are about 35mm thick and each sheet of hardboard on either side of the door is about 4 or 5 mm think the majority of the internal door is actually air trapped between the sheets of hardboard (or Masonite) of the door.

The last thing to note is that you could potentially put the internal doors, hardboard or Masonite into a timber bin as it is really little more than wood as long as you are not going to mix it with any other waste or building material. Sydney Skip Bin Companies have become a lot more discerning about the waste that is placed in their skip bins because of the implications of the weight of the waste and the large amount of New South Wales State waste levies payable on the disposal of the waste.

  • Authored By:Stephen Shergold
  • Published:08/10/2015