The process of grinding clean waste wood (wood containing no contaminants such as lead paint, glue, asbestos, etc.) into fine chips and using it to manufacture new usable products is known as wood recycling. Usually, tree branches, pallets, stumps and clean scrap wood from different construction sites are recycled to
create new products. Wood recycling helps to prevent deforestation; lesser trees are felled for the creation of products that are carved from wood. Also, recycling waste wood helps in reducing the number of new landfill sites that must be created for throwing away the waste wood.
Wood pulp is produced from softwood. But the scrap material and wood chips found in construction sites are too small to create boxes and boards. These materials could be recycled. Recently, new ways have been developed in the industry to create various products from waste wood apart from paper. If not recycled, the wood material would otherwise be wasted and more trees cut down to create the new products.
Wood is made of organic fibers called cellulose that are bound together by lignin. Either by a chemical process or through a mechanical process, the fibers are separated from wood chips. The fibers are used for creating a number of products. The fibers extracted from hardwood are about 1 mm in length. A variety of products are created from softwood fibers, extracted from pine and spruce trees. White paper, used for writing purposes, is manufactured by bleaching the wood pulp. The paper that turns yellow due to constant exposure to sunlight is not suitable for writing purposes; therefore, bleaching is necessary. Today, used paper is recycled to save money and natural resources and make it useful once more. Of course, this involves washing or chemical leeching of the pulp. It completely depends upon the process of manufacturing and processing of the pulp, the kind of paper that will be created, whether it will be soft and delicate writing paper or hard and sturdy pressed boards and boxes.
Wood recycling helps in preserving the trees and saving the environment. We can prevent trees from being cut down to manufacture various products, thus saving acres of land from becoming treeless. Birds and animals are not effected because forests are preserved. Preserving our forests will also help reduce climatic changes. So, the benefits of wood recycling are many. Ample waste wood is available from saw mills, barns, furniture makers, barns, etc. Collect the fine chips and scraps and recycle these materials to manufacture other usable products. Do you know that around 15% waste wood was recovered in 2007 (as per the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates)? This waste wood was recycled to manufacture various products.
Enough damage has been done to the environment! We have felled trees for years for building houses, chopped wood for fuel and cut down trees for manufacturing paper and paper products and cleared forests to make way for human habitation. If we continue the way we have continued for years, very soon our planet will be shorn of vegetation and we will be left, struggling for existence and combating the effects of global warming and climatic changes, on a barren land. The time has come to take necessary steps to prevent environmental degradation and wood recycling is one of the many ways to prevent the hazard.