The Environmental Benefits Of Wood Waste Recycling

Wood and wood products are a staple in the UK’s economy. Being an essential material for a wide range of industries, including in the manufacturing of widely-used products, wood is hugely important and continues to be in high demand. Due to the heavy use of wood across the country, the UK produces over 4 million tonnes of wood waste annually! 

Photo by João Guimarães on Unsplash

While our rates of wood waste remain high each year, the nation’s attitude towards recycling has certainly moved forward. Compared to rates of wood waste recycling recorded in the 1990s, recycling rates of wood have increased by a huge 78%. 

Why you should avoid sending waste to landfill 

Landfills have been proven to be incredibly harmful for the environment and the health of those who live around them. Not only are they full of a mixture of waste, they will all eventually leak. Releasing a toxic combination of chemicals, resulting in the contamination of local water supplies. 

With this knowledge, avoiding sending the majority of your waste to landfills should be encouraged. Where waste can be recycled, there should be no excuses. 

How to recycle your wood waste 

A large majority of wood waste is recyclable, making it easy to remove from your site or business premises. 

Wood waste is typically graded, making it simple for people to determine what should be done with it. The scale goes from A to D, with A meaning wood waste in a good condition, and D meaning harmful. To make the sorting process as easy as possible, it’s a good idea to use this categorisation to separate your wood waste. 

Waste wood can be collected by waste removal service companies or dropped off at recycling facilities. Opting to use a wood waste recycling service provides an efficient way to remove wood waste and recycle this correctly. When accessing these services, be sure to confirm with the service provider that the type of wood you wish to recycle is accepted. 

The types of wood that can be recycled 

The different types of wood waste that will most likely be accepted by a waste collection service include:

  • Grade A wood packaging material – Timber offcuts, wooden pallets, boxes and crates
  • Grade B mixed wood – Wooden pallets, hardwood and softwood waste, timber offcuts, boxes and crates, solid doors, wooden window frames, painted wood
  • Grade C Wood – Painted wood, melamine, laminated, chipboard, MDF  

Wood waste considered to be hazardous wood

Hazardous wood waste, marked as Grade D wood, will not be accepted by recycling facilities. This type of wood waste can only be accepted by wood waste handlers that are licensed to accept hazardous waste  Garde D wood includes:

  • Creosote/CCA treated fence panels, telegraph poles, railway sleepers, wood from docks, cooling
  • Hazardous waste from pre 2007 buildings 
  • Barge boards, fascias and soffits
  • External Joinery (wooden windows & conservatories

The benefits of wood recycling 

For the environment, recycling wood is far more beneficial than sending this to landfill. As mentioned above, when landfill is filled with waste that could be recycled instead, harmful chemicals and fumes are released into the atmosphere. Further damaging our planet and increasing the risks posed by climate change and global warming. 

What’s more, by choosing to recycle your wood waste, you are contributing to the production of a new product. This could be as simple as producing sawdust for the use of cat litter or animal bedding, while your offcuts can be produced into new wooden furniture, landscape surfaces, composts and more. There’s so much more that can be done with wood waste and should be, in order to preserve the impact this has on our environment. 

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