A sharp increase in material recycling of waste wood

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Photo: Geminor

In the first five months of 2021, resource management company Geminor can point to solid growth in the treatment and export of waste wood. Material recycling of wood is up by 22.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Resource management company Geminor’s treatment and cross-border transport of waste wood have increased significantly between January and June this year. In total, the fraction has grown by 33,200 tonnes – or 32 percent – compared to the same period last year. At the same time, the share of waste wood that goes to material recycling – primarily for panelboard production – has increased by as much as 22.5 percent in the same period.

Chief Operating Officer in Geminor, Ralf Schöpwinkel, expects even more growth within material recycling of wood: “State requirements for more material recycling of wood, better capacity for material recycling, as well as an increase in general business activity, are the main reasons for the growth we are seeing. This leads to more treatment, storage, and export of waste wood in Europe. Except for our largest market Norway, we have growth in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the UK. The waste wood fraction is the most developed waste stream in a circular economy perspective. This opens further development within treatment- and storage facilities for waste wood in Europe. Still, material recycling of wood is not optimal until we have more sustainable transport solutions – whether this is ships, trucks, or barges on the canals in Europe.”

Waste wood for energy recovery is also growing, the Chief Operating Officer of Geminor explains: “In Finland, we are seeing a growth in impregnated wood. This is exported to Germany due to a lack of national energy recovery capacity. In Poland, there is an increase in the export of railway sleepers, which is creosote-treated wood. Like the Finnish wood, this is exported to Germany for energy recovery.”

Common international standard

Schöpwinkel believes that a common international quality standard for waste wood would improve material recycling in Europe. “Through our regional analysis and checks we see a variation in the quality of wood factions depending on, among other things, the country of origin. This often has to do with different routines for processing and recovery. Better quality of waste wood for recycling will help streamline the circular economy of wood in Europe, which is why we are working to achieve a common quality standard for waste wood,” concludes COO in Geminor, Ralph Schöpwinkel.

Source: Geminor

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