The UK's wood recycling rate is set to continue rising following the launch of a new capital support competition by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme).
The aim of the open tender competition is to accelerate investment in higher value wood recycling and create new wood reprocessing infrastructure, particularly in the South East where a market gap has been identified.
Around one million tonnes of wood waste is generated in South East England annually, the majority of which is landfilled due to a lack of viable recovery options. Research conducted by WRAP earlier this year found that if end market demand can be generated and the appropriate reprocessing capacity put in place, then sufficient collection infrastructure already exists to generate the necessary supply of wood waste.
As a result, the capital support competition, which is being delivered in partnership with the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), aims to divert more wood waste from landfill into higher value uses by:
- creating new wood reprocessing capacity in South East England
- increasing the manufacturing of added value recycled wood products.
Overall, the aim is to stimulate 100,000 tonnes of additional recycling infrastructure, primarily but not exclusively in the South East. Of this total, at least 35,000 tonnes is intended to be recycled into value added products. The grant aid is targeted particularly at helping small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to cover the capital costs involved in creating new reprocessing capacity (such as land, buildings, equipment and machinery). This will enable the manufacture of high value recycled wood products (such as animal bedding, surfaces and horticultural products), as well as the production of recycled wood suitable for incorporation into panel board products and composting with green waste.
"This is a great chance for wood recyclers to seek WRAP support for their business development plans and is fully supported by the Wood Recyclers' Association," said Rick Wilcox, Secretary of the Wood Recyclers’ Association. Tom Fourcade, Head of Wood at WRAP, said: "WRAP supports the development of added value markets for recycling. We believe the future of wood recycling will be more assured if greater value can be generated throughout the supply chain.
"We are pleased to be working with SEEDA to deliver this initiative, which we believe will boost investment opportunities in wood recycling and deliver substantial economic and environmental benefits for the South East region."
WRAP's Wood Programme has an overall target to deliver an additional 150,000 tonnes of recycling capacity for waste wood, with the majority going to higher value markets. Capital support to wood recyclers during 2004-05 has already made substantial progress against this target.