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Recycling Wood Construction Waste: It Makes "Cents"

scrap wood from construction site.When the construction and demolition industries are thriving, this frequently results in landfills that are brimming with construction waste. In order to combat the amount of construction waste being thrown into landfills, many are starting to realize the recycled potential of a material many just think should be left to rot — wood. Let's take a look at not only the environment but the economic incentive of recycling wood construction waste. Also, learn what products can be created from what otherwise would have wound up in a landfill. 

Why Wood in Landfills is Bad for the Environment

Many of us are starting to consider the environmental ramifications of the materials we use every day. We may choose a french press coffee to keep Kureg k-cups out of landfills. We may opt for take-out containers made from recycled materials instead of those of the immortal styrofoam variety. Still, there is one material that many of us don't always see as a big deal throwing out — wood. You'd think that if any material was ok to throw into a landfill, it's wood. Wood is natural and decomposes over time. While this is true, most of the decaying wood in landfills is decomposing underground without access to air. When this occurs, the decaying wood releases methane gas — a gas that is estimated to be some 20-times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide. This increase in greenhouse gases from wood decaying in landfills greatly decreases air conditions and can even result in temperature fluctuations. 

Why Wood in Landfills is Bad For Business

Though wood is a natural element, it's usefulness doesn't end with the demolition of whatever building it used to help form. For this reason, more and more cities are seeing the economic incentive in instituting recycling initiatives for recycling wood construction debris from construction and demolition sites. Wood that is separated from other materials can be used to create a wide variety of other products. These manufactured products and fuel not only create jobs within the recycling industry but also for the companies that make and sell products made of recycled wood waste. 

Some Items Made from Recycled Wood

- Wood Composite Materials

Many don't see the potential in a piece of broken wood because of its lack of shape or structural integrity. However, when chopped into much smaller sections and assembled, wood composite products have infinite potential. Particleboard materials can be used for anything from furniture to construction materials, shipping materials, and beyond. 

- Wood Fiber Products

Remaining on the theme of recycling wood by breaking it down, many products can be made from wet-formed wood fibers of recycled construction wood. Some of the most well known are paper and cardboard, but the possibilities extend into shipping materials and insulation. 

- Timber Recycling

Recycling larger sections of wood recovered from construction and demolition sites became increasingly popular in the 1990s. Many residential and commercial construction professionals have given reclaimed wood a second chance. An increased environmental consciousness has also increased demand for reclaimed products, making recycled wood construction materials more popular than ever. 

Source: dtwreckit.com/blog/posts/view/209/recycling-wood-construction-waste-it-makes-cents

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