YOU’VE probably heard of recycled timber, or reclaimed timber as it is sometimes known. But what exactly is it? In this article, we look at what recycled timber is, and how you can support forest conservation efforts by sourcing sustainable timber products.
What is recycled timber?
Recycled timber is timber that has already been used for human consumption, such as building projects. It can come from practically anywhere, including discarded timber products recovered from the water, or from a range of industrial processes.
With that said, recycled timber doesn’t need to be considered on such a large scale. Many smaller businesses reclaim timber from local sources, essentially anywhere they can find discarded wood or wood products. From there, they manufacture a range of products including furniture, made wholly from recycled timber.
Is it the same as sustainable timber?
Responsible Wood is the Australian national governing body for the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the world’s largest forest certification system. Responsible Wood or PEFC certified recycled timber is a form of sustainable timber. However, sustainable timber refers to any timber that’s been sourced ethically through certified forests. To be considered sustainable, timber must come from sustainably and ethically-managed forests. These forests are managed with strict adherence to global benchmarks that have been developed by a range of stakeholders.
How does using recycled timber help the environment?
Illegal logging practices all over the world are having a catastrophic effect on the planet. Forests provide a habitat for countless forms of wildlife and fauna, and these habitats are severely compromised by illegal logging. But even for those who aren’t concerned about the fate of our wildlife, there’s another good reason to protect forests. Trees are estimated to hold around 40% of the carbon produced on earth. This helps to control damage to the ozone layer and effectively keeps our planet alive.
How to use recycled timber
There are so many different ways you can use recycled timber and help the environment. Both consumers and businesses can take steps to use recycled timber, and here are a few suggestions.
As a business:
There are so many different businesses that use timber. From building companies to furniture manufacturers, timber can be found in so many of the products we use every day. Here are some tips for businesses.
Use sustainably sourced timber: It might sound obvious, but if you run a business that uses timber, why not consider recycled timber options? There are companies that offer it in bulk, so even the biggest users of timber can go recycled.
Recycle your off-cuts: Manufacturers who use a lot of timber inevitably have off-cuts and wasted timber. Without in-house recycling systems in place, it’s not easy to reuse those off-cuts. However, they can be disposed of in such a way that they can be recycled by others. Don’t just throw off-cuts in a skip bin with other waste, but rather ensure that it goes to a waste processing facility for recycling.
As a consumer:
We would always recommend buying sustainable timber products. It’s as easy as looking for the Responsible Wood logo on the timber products you buy. But you can also look specifically for recycled timber products. There are so many local manufacturers who recycle timber and create beautiful pieces of furniture and decorative pieces. Not only are you supporting local businesses, but also the planet.
Also, if you need to dispose of old, damaged timber products, ensure they are processed correctly at a waste transfer station. Most waste stations in Australia provide large bins for timber products, so make sure your old products are disposed of there, instead of general landfill. You can also look for local businesses that use recycled timber and donate to them.
How Responsible Wood can help
Products carrying the Responsible Wood logo can be trusted.
If you’d like to find suppliers of sustainable timber products in your area, we can help. Check out the easy on the Responsible Wood website to find businesses that source their timber sustainably. Helping forest owners become certified as sustainable is just part of the process, and the benefits flow all the way down the supply chain.