business / re-use, reduce, recycle  

Recycling wood

Recycled wood products are made from post-consumer and post-industrial sources. Wood waste is cleaned and processed to remove any contaminants and to reduce particle size. This material is then used to manufacture a range of quality products for different markets. Some products may be made entirely from waste wood or they may contain a proportion of virgin material.

The vast majority of waste wood is generated by construction and demolition, commercial and industrial including furniture manufacture and joinery, unfortunately only around 40% of the waste wood (arising) is recycled. 

One of the reasons is that there are strict controls over contaminated wood which cannot be used in a number of end products.  However there is much wood that could be recycled that is going to land fill. 

Recycled wood fibre used to primarily go into chipboard, fibreboard and MDF for use in building, furniture making and DIY.  Now additional markets are expanding in the areas of landscaping products, animal and poultry bedding and equestrian products.

Another emerging marketing for wood chip is as a renewable fuel.  These biomass plants can range from a power station such as the one in Teesside down to a biomass heat exchanger in a factory to use their own wood waste.  One of the key advantages to clean recycled wood for biomass fuel is that it generally has a moisture content of around 20% compared to around 65-70% moisture content in virgin wood.  This means it will burn more easily and last longer.

To find out where to recycle your waste wood or to purchase recycled wood products see the sustainable wood information service on Wrap's website.

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