Turning urban wood waste into local sustainable opportunities | Article

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When the emerald ashes open a holeThe invasive beetle, which is native to Asia, began killing thousands of urban trees in southeastern Michigan in the early 2000s, leaving local residents with few options to deal with the resulting wood waste. did. Urban trees with different growth rates, types, and sizes are difficult for traditional sawmills to process and sort. In Michigan and across the United States, dead trees in urban areas are typically treated as garbage and end up in landfills, burned, dumped on private property, or left to rot in forest lands. Even if it does find a second life as a wood product, it is most often used as firewood, leaf mulch, or boiler fuel.

Emerald Ash Borer.Photo by David Cappaert of www.forestryimages.org

However, innovative programs have emerged, such as: urban wood has found a way to utilize leftover wood waste in a way that not only sustainably reduces waste, but also stimulates the local economy and supports Michigan communities. The program partners with local wood producers and businesses to reuse urban wood waste and transform it into high-quality, sustainable wood products.

Urbanwood was founded in 2005. recycle ann arbor And that Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and Development CouncilEfforts to encourage greater recycling of urban dead trees, especially those killed by emerald ash borer.Dead trees in southeastern Michigan cities, according to former Urban Woods Coordinator Jessica Simmons. can be produced More than 73 million board feet of wood are used annually, enough to build more than 5,600 homes. Urban Wood recognized the potential of all urban wood waste.

Urban wood is a little difficult to collect and sort, but urban wood Communication network A number of local sawmills can cut recycled wood into lumber. Local processors dry and finish the wood. Woodworkers transform reclaimed wood into a variety of handmade products. furniture, floor panelsand art. These finished products can be found at your local Urbanwood Marketplace, including: Genesee Habitat for Humanity Located in Flint.

Thanks to initiatives like UrbanWood, communities can manage their natural resources more sustainably, reduce wood disposal costs, and buy locally made, environmentally friendly products. Beyond the environmental benefits of urban wood waste, there are also labor benefits. Local businesses are building stronger partnerships with the timber industry to leverage sustainable raw materials while creating new products, jobs and revenue.

UrbanWood is not alone in its efforts to reduce, recycle and reuse wood waste. Funding from the U.S. Forest Service supports the growth of other regional networks, projects, and educational efforts on urban wood.These efforts will eventually urban wood networka compilation of urban wood recycling programs in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

In Maryland, baltimore wood project, the U.S. Forest Service’s Research and Development Division is working with state and private forestry departments to study various uses for urban wood. In addition to providing technical assistance and resources, the Forest Service is building a large networked regional economy that attracts public and private institutions, as well as urban and rural communities.

Programs like Urbanwood are an example of this. opportunity support circular economy. Rather than waste precious resources, circular economy practices design waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. UrbanWood is an example of how a commitment to a circular economy can have many benefits for the environment, workforce and local communities.

To learn more about waste issues:

Author: Celine Yang

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