Wood recycling: Why it's time to start thinking outside the forest

This blog post will explore the importance of wood recycling and discuss some of the different methods and facilities that are used to process wood waste

As environmental concerns continue to rise, recycling has become an increasingly important topic for individuals and businesses alike. One area that is often overlooked when it comes to recycling is wood waste. From construction debris to old furniture, many types of wood can be recycled and repurposed rather than ending up in landfills. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of wood recycling and discuss some of the different methods and facilities that are used to process wood waste.

Wood waste recycling

Wood waste refers to any type of wood material that is no longer needed or wanted. This can include things like construction debris, pallets, and old furniture. In the United Kingdom, it is estimated over 10 million tonnes of wood is disposed of, and over 80% of it is recycled, but that still leaves a portion that ends up in a landfill site.

Wood can be recycled and repurposed in a number of ways, making it an important resource to conserve. One of the primary benefits of wood waste recycling is reducing waste in landfills. Landfills are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and by diverting wood waste to recycling facilities, we can help to reduce these emissions. Wood waste recycling also helps to conserve natural resources, as it reduces the need to harvest new trees for wood products.

Several different methods are used to recycle wood waste, depending on the type of wood waste. The Wood Recycling Association (WRA) sorts waste wood into the following categories:

Grade A - Clean recycled wood

This waste wood often goes to the manufacture of new products such as animal bedding, horticulture mulches and new panelboards.

Grade B - Industrial feedstock grade

May contain up to 60% Grade A materials, this waste wood can be used in the manufacture of new panel products, including chipboard and medium density fibreboard.

Grade C - Fuel grade

This grade of wood waste is commonly utilised as biomass fuel for use in the generation of electricity and/or heat.

Grade D - Hazardous waste

This wood waste typically requires disposal at special facilities due to the additional materials or preservation treatments that have been applied.

Processing waste wood

One common method for processing waste wood is chipping. This is where wood is shredded into small pieces to go on to be used as mulch or as a fuel source for boilers and other industrial processes. Another method is wood pelletization, where the wood is ground into small pellets that can be used as fuel or as a soil amendment, helping to improve the fertility and structure of the soil. Both of these methods help to reduce the volume of wood waste, making it easier to transport and store.

Wood pallet recycling

Wood pallets are a common type of wood waste that can be recycled. Pallets are used to transport goods and materials, and they are often discarded when they are no longer needed. However, rather than sending them to landfills, pallets can be recycled and repurposed in a number of ways.

One common method of wood pallet recycling is deconstruction, where the pallets are dismantled, and the individual pieces are sorted and resold. The wood from the pallets can be used to make new pallets, or it can be repurposed for other applications. This process helps to conserve natural resources and reduce waste in landfills.

Refurbishment is another method of wood pallet recycling, where the pallets are repaired and reused. This process is typically more cost-effective than deconstruction, as it involves less labour and materials. Refurbished pallets can be used for various purposes, including shipping, storage, and even as a building material.

Another option for recycling wood waste is to use it as a building material. Wood waste can be used to make composite building materials, such as particleboard and medium-density fiberboard (MDF). These materials are used in various applications, including flooring, furniture, and cabinetry.

Wood recycling centre

There are a number of facilities that specialise in handling, grading and sorting wood waste. If you are looking for a solution for disposing of your wood waste, consider using a wood recycling centre.

Wood recycling centres can also be used as drop-off locations for consumers who wish to recycle their own wood waste. This makes it easier for individuals and businesses to recycle their old pallets, furniture, and other types of wood products. By diverting these materials from landfills, we can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while conserving natural resources at the same time.

Here at Blackpole Recycling, we have the necessary machinery and equipment to process wood waste and transfer it to a power station for waste-to-energy.

Supporting St Richard's Hospice

Every Christmas, we offer our services in partnership with Ball Mill Logs to St Richard's Hospice to help recycle Christmas Trees. Our skips are on site, ready to deliver the trees back to us to shred the trees once the Christmas period is over. For a small donation, locally, the charity will collect unwanted trees ready for them to be recycled.

Not only is the charity benefiting, but we are also helping to make sure the unwanted Christmas trees are being transformed into energy by supplying the wood chippings to a power station for waste-to-energy.

The Christmas Tree recycling campaign for St Richard’s Hospice in 2022 benefitted the charity by raising a phenomenal £46,000!

Find out more about who we sponsor here.

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For more information about wood recycling and how it can be implemented in your community or business, contact us.

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