A new study conducted by WRAP, Waste & Resources Action Programme, published on 28th August 2009, has identified that demand for waste wood will outstrip supply in the next few years. The report, ‘Wood Waste Market in the UK’, provides both a detailed analysis of how the situation with waste wood product availability is likely to develop over the coming years, and also looks at the origins of waste wood products.
WRAP’s research anticipates a 14% decrease in the amount of waste wood compared to before the recession, a figure which could take up to 5 years to return to pre-recession levels. Director of Market Development, Marcus Gover, advises that WRAP are keen to offer support to recycling and reprocessing businesses across the UK in light of the problems that this shortfall could cause.
“Our new report gives valuable insights as to the issues currently affecting the wood waste market in the UK. It brings into focus the real need to ensure we’re recovering our arisings of waste wood as efficiently and to as high a standard as possible.”
The findings of the report showed that the construction and demolition industries are the biggest generators of waste wood, with figures in 2008 being estimated at between 4.5 and 4.6 million tonnes. WRAP note in their report however, that these levels are lower than previous estimates expected to be found, something that is being put down to the difficulty in accessing accurate information about the levels of waste generated by the construction and demolition industries.
Apart from affecting businesses such as fence panel manufacturers who currently use 60% of the recycled wood waste produced by the UK, the other main area that will be hit by shortages is electricity generation. As the search for renewable technologies and clean alternative energy sources continues, one solution is wood fired power stations and CHP plants (combined heat and power). WRAP warn that although wood waste price increases in line with the higher levels of demand should keep things in balance, if this does not happen, we are likely to see shortages of wood waste arise, which would be bad news for this latest source of low carbon power generation.