Companies confirm wood waste trials for WRAP study

wood waste trials

WRAP has selected four companies across England to undertake new trials on economically-viable ways to collect wood waste.

Wiltshire-based Hills Waste Solutions will take part in the trials, as well as Low and Behold, MDF Recovery, and National Community Wood.

A spokesperson from WRAP told Resource that ‘a fifth company is in discussion and will be confirmed when the contract is complete’.

The trials follow the publication of WRAP’s Wood Waste Collection Hub Feasibility Studies and will focus on the potential offered by the four collection scenarios identified in WRAP’s report ‘Business case for wood waste collection hubs’:

  • Wood recovery in composting;
  • Local authority civic amenity recycling centres or household waste recycling centres (HWRCs);
  • Collection clusters for small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) wood businesses; and
  • Reverse logistics for wood sector businesses.

Assessing the business case for wood waste collection hubs in the four specified scenarios detailed above, the report hopes to:

  • Supply evidence on quantities of wood waste, how it is currently managed and the end markets it reaches;
  • Set out key drivers and constraints influencing the recovery of wood waste, including regulatory, economic and practical, summarising the main barriers to investment; and
  • Recommend steps to support the development, or further optimisation, of the wood waste supply chain.

The trials

The main focus of the trials will be wood waste that is currently not collected as part of mainstream wood recycling. 

Hills Waste Solutions

Hills will trial the feasibility of allowing collection and separation of wood waste from construction trade waste at its Lower Compton HWRC site. Members of the local building trade will be encouraged to bring their wood and non-hazardous construction waste to the site where they will be charged a nominal fee for disposal. The Hills’ trial will last until the end of September 2013.

A spokesperson for Hills said: “We believe that this will work best by offering small builders a complete service for all of their waste, rather than trying to get them to segregate the wood element – hence the design of the trial. 

“We will undertake the separation of wood ourselves and feed the information back to WRAP.”

Low and Behold

As part of the trials, environmental consultancy Low and Behold has conducted a feasibility study that considers the practicalities of wood waste management in Stoke-on-Trent, in accord with the city council’s Mandate for Change and the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions from waste. Focusing specifically on the wood waste currently going through HWRCs and wood wastes that may be able to go through HWRCs, the study aims to identify commercial and municipal sources of waste that are currently disposed at landfill.

Resource flow maps showing the movement of wood waste through the county have been produced to provide a visual guide of the different pathways typically involved, along with a generic model that can be used nationally. The current HWRC arrangements were analysed and recommendations made for a potential pilot project. As a result of the feasibility work, Low and Behold hopes to carry out further practical work on the possibilities of diverting wood by providing trade waste recycling facilities at HWRCs.

National Community Wood

The National Community Wood (NCW) hopes to establish whether a market exists for collections of small arisings of wood waste from small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) joiners and furniture makers as identified in WRAP’s report, which stated that very little was known about these businesses that produce wood waste in quantities too small for removal by skip. However, it estimated that this could account for 200,000 tonnes of resources across the UK.

NCW’s project aims to establish a service offering from community wood recyclers (CWR) in key areas of England for collection clusters of SME wood waste producers. Area 1 will be around CWRs in Manchester, Derby, and Milton Keynes, while Area 2 will be around CWRs in Wiltshire, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, and Taunton.

The project will also:

  • Contact large numbers of SME wood waste producers (joiners and furniture makers) to establish quantities produced, and current arrangements for dealing with the waste;
  • Bring the CWR service offer to SME wood waste producers and find sufficient customers to establish collection clusters around each CWR centre;
  • Pilot collection rounds for SME wood waste producers from CWR centres, while keeping records of waste removed, grades of waste and end use.

If a market does exist, the project will establish whether the National Community Wood Recycling Project network of wood recycling social enterprises can provide a cost-effective solution to this untapped resource and become the Collection Hubs proposed in the WRAP report. 

Details of the MDF Recovery trials are not yet available.

According to WRAP, the results will assist it to determine how the development of the waste wood collection can be supported with the aim of reducing the amount of waste wood sent to landfill.

Read more on the Business Case for Wood Waste Collection Hubs report.