Wood Waste Facts

Hello beach hut fans!

After a very busy Summer I finally had time to sit around with Google and ample amounts of tea to do a little bit of research into recycling and great environmentally friendly projects in the local area.

One of our favourite places to visit is The Wood Store in Brighton and I found their website to be an incredible resource.  The Wood store is a not for profit social enterprise based in East Sussex that collects and re-uses timber from a variety of local businesses.  The wood is recycled at their timber yard and used to create a wide variety of very cool home wares that have been a constant inspiration to us here at Dave’s Beach Hut.

Their article on Wood Waste Facts is a great read for anyone interested in preserving our environment and making the most of natural resources, so I’ve taken an excerpt from their page and pasted it here for your reading pleasure:

Why Recycle Wood?

Wood waste has some features that mean it should not be ignored;
• If allowed to rot in landfill sites it contributes methane to greenhouse gas production.
• Methane is 23 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
• Wood is often in excellent condition, and could make ideal material for reuse, rather than simply being binned.
• Growing, harvesting and processing of virgin timber uses energy and water; natural resources which are not as renewable as timber
• Recycling will eventually save money as the cost of disposing through landfill rises.
• Every man, woman and child in Great Britain consumes one tonne of wood a year.

Landfill tax

The Government has imposed a Landfill Tax to reduce the amount of waste landfilled in the UK; to fund research into waste practices; and to promote the reuse and recycling of waste. The current standard rate of landfill tax is £24/tonne. This rate applies to active wastes (those that give off emissions). This will double to £48/t by 2011.
By recycling instead of landfilling, we are not paying this tax on the majority of the waste we collect, so we can pass this saving on to our customers.

UK Wood Consumption

The UK currently consumes about 3% the world’s wood consumption. The UK has only about 1% of the world’s population, but has three times the world’s average per capita consumption rate of wood. Although UK production of wood is expected to increase to 15 million m3 in 2020, if we are only to use our fair share of global sustainable production, the UK will have to reduce its consumption of primary wood products by 70% by 2050.

Wood Waste Sources

Wood is one of the most commonly used materials across all kinds of industry, especially building, manufacture, transport and packaging. Huge amounts of wood are used once and then thrown away – despite the fact that it is still perfectly re-usable – because until now there were no other options. Wood recyclers are now creating a service whereby this wood can be collected and given a new lease of life, rather than ending up rotting in landfill.

The best estimate, given by ERM in its Carbon Balances Report, is that there are around 7.5 million tonnes of waste wood produced annually in the UK. This is around 2% of total waste arisings. The vast majority (6 million tonnes, or 80%) is disposed of to landfill, with 1.2 million tonnes (16%) re-used and recycled, and 0.3 million tonnes (4%) incinerated with energy recovery.

Most waste wood arises in commercial and industrial waste streams, as well as from the construction and demolition sectors – where a study carried out for WRAP suggested arisings of between 2 and 8 million tonnes. Municipal waste contains an estimated 1.1 million tonnes of waste wood (around 3% of UK municipal solid waste), making up 5% of biodegradable municipal waste.

The Environment Agency’s Commercial and Industrial Waste Survey 2002–03 estimated that in England waste wood made up 1 million tonnes (3%) of the commercial and 1.9 million tonnes (5%) of the industrial waste streams. The main sectors identified as having significant wood waste arisings were:
• Wood and wood products sector – 1.15 million tonnes (78.4% of arisings in this sector);
• Retail – 0.49 million tonnes (3.9% of arisings);
• Furniture and other manufacturing – 0.19 million tonnes (28.7% of arisings); and
• Transport, storage and communications – 0.14 million tonnes (6.3% of arisings).

Sourced from http://www.woodrecycling.org.uk/info_woodfacts.html

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