Guide

Collecting and processing recycling materials

Recycling wood

Recycled wood products come from post-consumer and post-industrial sources. Legislation, such as that controlling what can be disposed of in landfill, means that there are opportunities for businesses that recycle wood.

Good quality timber in whole pieces can be used in a variety of applications - eg joinery, furniture manufacture, packaging and fencing. Waste wood which is not of a high enough quality for these uses may still be recycled into chips or sawdust for use in:

  • landscaping products - eg mulches, surfacing material for pathways and play surfaces
  • equestrian products
  • animal bedding products

The wood recycling process

Wood must be free of any contamination before it can be supplied as recycled product. Many applications for its use will not be available if the wood has been treated with substances such as arsenic-based and copper-based preservatives.

It may often be difficult to know whether reclaimed wood has been treated, and with which substances, especially if the wood is weathered or stained. You should not rely on the testimony of the supplier, especially if they are inexperienced.

Find advice and tools on identifying contaminated wood.