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Consultation on draft wood Quality Protocol launches

A consultation on the draft Quality Protocol (QP) for waste wood has been launched by the Environment Agency (EA) and WRAP. But it does not cover waste wood for use in biomass and animal bedding – two large end-uses for the industry.

The six-week consultation, ending on 27 April, will gain feedback on when certain grades of wood will no longer be classed as waste.

Waste wood for use in panelboard and landscape materials such as mulch are recognised in the QP but it does not currently cover biomass and animal bedding. WRAP, the EA and the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) have all expressed their desire to see an extension of the QP to biomass and animal bedding in future.

EA head of environment and business partnerships Martin Brocklehurst said: “Animal bedding and biomass uses are not currently included in the draft QP. However, we’re still optimistic that a solution can be found to include these end uses. I would encourage all those involved to consider what additional evidence you may be able to provide to support this work.

 “We see this as the first step towards ensuring far more of our waste wood is sustainably recovered.”

WRA technical advisor Toby Beadle recently resigned over his disapproval that the QP does not cover biomass (see MRW story).

Under the QP, waste wood will no longer be classed as waste for panelboard manufacture and landscape when clean recovered wood that is untreated is used and it meets the PAS111 standards. In addition, for wood destined for panelboard, the recovered wood must be used to manufacture particle board or medium-density fibre only.

WRAP head of production and procurement Mervyn Jones believes the QP, if successful, will “help to develop markets for the processing and use of QP-compliant recycled wood. It will help to tackle the large volume of waste wood currently sent to landfill by offering a safe procedure for reprocessing this waste into a marketable product with an assured end market.”

The WRA has distanced itself from Beadle’s comments. Secretary Peter Butt said: “We’re delighted that, having failed to achieve a QP for waste wood in 2006, we have now navigated our way to the commencement of a public consultation. We are obviously pleased to see that two of our industry’s end-uses are seen as having the potential for a QP, including panelboard, which remains comfortably our largest market.”

Butt has urged industry to use the consultation to voice their opinions on including biomass and animal bedding in the QP.

The consultation can be found at: http://qp.dialoguebydesign.net/

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