UKTC Archive

RE: Wood waste

Subject: RE: Wood waste
From: Nathaniel Sperry
Date: Nov 29 2000 10:21:41
I've been reading this thread with great interest as a Yankee in the Pacific
Northwest.  I regularly recommend that my clients retain the chips that we
generate to be used for mulching their properties.  The orgainc matter
remains on-site, the soil and plant life are presumably improved and I have
less time and money consumed in hauling the waste somewhere.

Saving wood chip debris is a relatively new process on a large scale basis
here, and I'm sure it took many people with a lot of foresight (or chips) to
develop the market for these products. We now have have many sucessful
businesses in the States built around supplying wood chip mulch for mulching
of landscape trees, shrubs, garden beds, pathways... One of the ways that
this happens is that we pay them for the convenience of dumping our green
debris on their lot.  Then they send our materials through huge grinders,
compost it and sell it back to us at triple the price as a soil amendment or
mulch product.  (Why do I feel like something's wrong here?? It seems to me
that they should be paying me for the materials but that's another issue too
big to wrestle at this time.)

There are obviously many potential problems with this process, especially if
the composting process doesn't create high enough temperatures to destroy
noxious weeds, pests or diseases...  Also, I don't know if any studies have
been done on the amount of fossil fuels consumed to run the grinders and
loaders that create the compost.  It may be possible that the amount or
quality of air pollution generated is better than that released by burning
unrefined wood waste?  It all depends on where you begin counting the
impacts I suppose. Are there companies doing this in the UK ?  If so, how do
they get their waste; do they pay for it, or is it free?
Thanks,
Nathaniel

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