Recovering and minimising waste wood

Date Published

16 August 2022

Document Type




Wood and wood-based products are used in a wide range of applications, some with service lives of many decades before they enter the waste stream. However, it is only since the mid-1990s that an industry has emerged to recycle waste wood, where qualities such as a low moisture content compared with virgin wood have made recycled wood fibre popular for a variety of applications.

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) is an overview of the subject with signposts to more detailed sources that are listed at the end.

Key Information

The Wood Recyclers Association (WRA) estimates that current annual UK waste wood arisings are in the order of 4.5 million tonnes.

The UK wood recycling sector in recycling an ever increasing proportion of waste wood and moving towards a situation where all wood ‘waste’ is becoming a ‘resource’.

The market for biomass fuels is expanding rapidly, to such an extent that waste wood will be increasingly demanded as a fuel. This may have a wider impact on current recycling and reuse options.

Case studies

Two exceptional performance spaces, designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, have been seamlessly integrated into the Royal Academy of Music. Founded in 1822, the academy is Britain’s oldest conservatoire and is housed on the edge of Regents Park in a Grade II listed historic building which has long been extended and adapted.

To the architect, Maggie’s Oldham is a deliberate exemplar of how to create a fresh, uplifting and caring environment while eliminating the use of harmful materials.