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Dispose of Your Old Timber or Wood in the right Skip Bins

News > Dispose of Your Old Timber or Wood in the right Skip Bins

Wooden Railways Sleepers - Example Stacked TimberWith the rising cost of Sydney Skip Bins for waste disposal, just exactly what would wood and timber weigh in typical skip bins.  And should I treat wood as light or heavy waste when selecting my skip bin to fill with wood and/or timber for disposal?

Timber can be a tricky trash to deal with as it encompasses many different types of material. At one end of the timber scale there is Balsa wood, a material that is light enough to make model airplanes from. Balsa wood weighs in at approximately 170 kg per cubic meter.  Flat packing balsa wood into a skip bin and you would still be OK to dispose of it as a general light waste.

At the other end of the timber weigh scale are hard woods like Iron wood (Lignum Vitae) which weighs up 1,280 kg - 1,370 kg per cubic meter which is as heavy as concrete, bricks, sand or soil. While there isn't much Iron wood around there are a lot of hardwoods or heavy woods used in Australia for decking and landscaping.

Pine which is used in a lot of furniture and construction weighs about 500 kg per cubic meter.  This is about 3 times the density of general light waste. So if you are planning to stack a bin full of wood check for weight limits and make sure you know what you are paying for. 

What is flat packing and what is the relevance to timber skip bins? 
The term flat packing has come from the furniture industry where it is a popular way to package furniture to deliver to customer who unpack it and assemble the furniture in their homes.  When we use the term flat packing material into a skip bin we are referring to the reverse process where a customer takes their furniture or building materials and breaks them down into the composite flat pieces of timer, wood or plaster board to stack in the skip bin.  When done well this results in skip bins that contains almost solid material with little or no air or space between the boards.

If the wood is the only material being placed into the skip bin is flat-packed wood, then not even the lightest wood can be placed into the skip as the general light waste only holds 150kg per cubic meter. 

If the wood is still part of it original structure (e.g. Table, furniture, benches) than there should be no problems if the timber goes into a light waste bin as there will be plenty of air around the wood to keep it from being filled completely with wood or other heavier items.
There is also another little problem with wood, water logging. If the wood is waterlogged then it will make the timber quite heavy and in the rare cases slightly thicker in size.


Generally woods like Pine that are used in the everyday furniture like desks, chairs and lounges. Since the lounges and chairs are generally difficult to pull apart into just their wooden components people just toss the whole item in. This means that most of the bin is filled with empty space and the cushioning from the chairs so it doesn't take up too much of the general light waste weight limit. If any of the heavier woods are placed into the bin like Oak, Ebony and the railway sleepers, if it takes up more than a quarter of the bin there is a very likely chance that it has surpassed the weight limit and the bin will have to be upgraded to a mixed heavy waste bin which generally requires a payment increase as a heavy waste truck would have to pick up the bin.


Solid woods used in bookcases, building, construction or railway sleepers would have to be placed in a heavy waste bin as the building and construction would also include items such as gyprock, plasterboard, concrete and bricks it would basically all heavy materials. Bookcases are difficult as the small thin bookshelves that are just tall can go into a light waste just about disregarding what type of wood it is made out of. If a bookshelf requires more than 2 people to pick up the bookshelf than that would be considered heavy waste.

  • Authored By:Steve Shergold
  • Updated:25/09/2015