Urban construction, demolition, and maintenance can create wood waste, including used lumber, whole trees, pruned branches, and pallets.  These items can be recycled for a number of other purposes.

Construction sites have a great opportunity to offer quality wood waste for reuse.  Because the wood waste from these sites is cleaner and has fewer contaminants, it is in high demand from processors.

Wood Waste Considerations:

1. Wood waste can be prevented by efficient upkeep and maintenance of doors, siding, windows, and other structures.

2. Many wood products can be reused as pallets, landscaping, fences, parking barriers, and erosion control structures.

3. Usable lumber can be donated to school drafting programs, churches, and theater groups for smaller building projects.

4. Recyclable wood waste needs to be as pure as possible.  Wood is most useful when free of dirt, rock, metal, or other contaminants.

Benefits of Recycling Wood Waste:

1. Save on Disposal Costs – Instead of paying disposal costs to landfills, generate savings and revenue by the sale of recovered wood waste.

2. Preserve the Environment – Rather than covering landfills with wood waste, recycling saves acres of space.

3. Wood waste can also potentially be used as an alternative energy generation source, being burned instead of coal.

4. Preserve Forests – Recycling wood waste enables private and industrial forest owners to better manage their land, leading to a healthier natural resource and less wildfires.

Uses of Recycled Wood Waste:

1. Wood waste can be processed and used in parts for the following purposes:

2. Wood Flour: Wood waste can be ground into a fine powder and used as a filler for woodfiber-plastics, found in decking and railing materials.

3. Fire Logs:  Wood waste can be chipped or ground and used an alternative to waste paper filler found in fire logs.  These types of logs are preferred by many consumers because they burn more easily than regular firewood.  The high density of these logs are also much more energy efficient.

4. Lumber:  Larger pieces of waste could be converted into smaller structural pieces for use as banisters and moldings.

5. Engineered Wood Product:  Ground wood waste is usable as feedstock for particleboard and laminate pieces.

6. Mulch/Compost: Wood waste can be chipped and used alone or with bark as mulch.  Ground waste also serves as an alternative bulking agent for compost.

7. Biomass Fuel: Some facilities generate steam and electricity from burning wood waste.

8. Animal Bedding or Litter:  Certain species of chipped or shaved wood waste can serve as a liner for animal cages. Hammer-milled wood waste can be pelletized and used instead of clay-based litter.    


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