Module: Environmental aspects of wood Unit: Wood waste and reuse

Module: Environmental aspects of wood Unit: Wood waste and reuse

Date Published

16 August 2022

Document Type



The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) estimates that the UK currently generates in the order of 4.5 million tonnes of wood-waste per year; of this the construction and demolition sectors contribute about 1.0-1.1 million tonnes each per year, and therefore accounts for approximately 25% of the total.

Post service-life, there are various routes available for wood-based construction products, although much will depend on the physical condition of the material and the extent to which it has been treated. The main options are outlined below.

Key Information

Wood in landfill may release sequestered carbon, or methane which could potentially be used as an energy source.

Re-use should be seen as the preferred post-service life route for wood.

Re-use saves resources, reduces waste and secures the sequestered carbon in the wood for another service life.

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Case studies

Three years ago when he was commissioned to create a sculpture for the proposed new Terminal 2 building, the artist Richard Wilson had a simple idea; capture the motion of a small stunt plane as it cartwheeled through the air.

Facing Peckham Rye Park in South London is a new development of ten apartments which demonstrates how the use of timber can create homes which are sustainable, efficient to buildand with interior spaces of exceptional quality.