BWF and TTF join forces to respond to government on landfill ban

2 October 2012

The BWF and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) have written a joint response to Defra as part of a call for evidence on wood waste landfill restrictions in England.

The response presented evidence gathered from TTF and BWF members, and highlighted the work of the Timber Resource Efficiency Partnership (TREP) towards the goal of reducing the total amount of waste produced by the timber sector.

Feedback gathered from BWF members indicated that they were generally supportive of the case for a landfill ban, and that such a measure could be an important driver in further improving the environmental profile of the UK’s most sustainable construction material.

The joint response addressed the barriers to the successful reuse and recycling of wood. If a restriction was to be benefit small manufacturers and installers, such as those taking out old joinery, then improved infrastructure for wood waste collection and disposal would need to be put in place first, together with better clarification on what can be done with some types of treated wood. With a better system to help identify the different types of wood preservative treatments and increased availability of waste plants capable of handling the lowest grades, the UK would be able to find a sustainable use for all grades of wood waste.

The call for evidence also provided an opportunity to remind Defra of the importance of the waste hierarchy and the economic benefits facilitated by recycling wood so that it can be used by important value-adding manufacturing industries.

BWF Policy Executive Matt Mahony commented;

“There is a shortage of information out there, for example on informal markets for wood waste, so the BWF is delighted to fill in some of the gaps for Defra so they can formulate evidence based policy that matches industry expectations. Working together with the Timber Trade Federation has enabled us to provide an authoritative response on issues which affect a large swathe of the timber and timber products industry, and I must thank the BWF membership for the evidence that has been received.”

“With initiatives such as ‘Wood First’ gaining momentum and a recent Defra-commissioned report calling for the use of wood as the material of choice for high-value and long-lasting products, policy-makers should be taking our message seriously. This is a fantastic time for government put in place a pro-timber policy which reflects the carbon sequestration and lifestyle contribution of forests, the low energy processing costs of timber relative to alternative materials, and the growth and employment potential of using wood products in construction.”

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