Proper disposal of old PTL

We are replacing a section of wood fencing on our farm, and we have to dispose of the old fencing. There are posts and boards, appropriately 30 years old. We have an energy efficient wood stove if the wood could be safely burned. Beyond that, our community has a landfill and hauling it to the dump is an option. What is the most responsible way to dispose? Internet says burning is ok with PTL of this age, but I was wondering if others concur. Thanks for any insight and advice!

are there any markings remaining to identify the treatment? Pressure treated (CCA) lumber has enough toxic chemicals to qualify as a hazardous waste.

BUT… unbelievably is that industry lobbyist in Washington, D.C secured an exemption of CCA treated wood from hazardous waste disposal laws.

I would not be around or near a burn pile or stove using it as fuel

if burned in a pile the chemicals would remain in the soil


I assume the acronym PTL in this case stands for Pressure Treated Lumber?

No scientific info to back up this thought but even with us using cut up dimensional lumber scraps for kindling and such in our wood stove we will not use pressure treated scraps. Not worth the risk of burning those chemicals inside the house.


Thanks for the replies. Yes, it is pressure treated lumber, and any identifying tags are long gone. Our community has a hazardous waste disposal event twice a year, but PTL is not one of the items accepted. I guess I will just have to send it to the local landfill, which is very full and generating some community concerns about smell and groundwater contamination.

Are you sure the boards are pressure treated? With my fence, the posts are, but the boards are not, which would make them fine for burning. I’m not sure if it would be safe to burn old PTL in your efficient (sealed?) woodstove or not.

We had a bunch of old lumber that we just got rid of. Advertised on CL and FB. The guy who took it said he was going to sell it to be ground into mulch.

Didn’t PTL used to be treated with an arsenic-containing compound? And the treatment was recently changed because of the toxicity of that prior regimen?

I’d want to make sure I wasn’t dispersing arsenic :open_mouth: by burning that old lumber.

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yes that was the CCA treated wood…CCA is short for Chromated copper arsenate it was a treatment using compounds of chromium, copper, and arsenic, in various proportions… that is why I would be reluctant to even burn it in a burn pile on the land since the chemicals would leach into the soil

Depending on the condition of the wood, you may be able to sell it, or give it away, instead of worrying about this question. Lumber has been so $$$…the market for used stuff is robust!