The output of the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) broke the 2 million tonne barrier for the first time in 2013, with higher domestic demand cutting exports.
The WRA’s annual report shows the total production by its members of 2,003,000 tonnes was 2% higher than in 2012.
Exports were down 42,000 tonnes, or 9%, to 617,000 tonnes, which the WRA attributes to a reduction in biomass fuel, with a number of outages at European plants, although increased demand from UK installations was also a factor.
The WRA says a key aspect of the 2013 figures is that the move from panel-board to biomass has accelerated.
Andy Hill, WRA chairman said: “These figures are pretty much as expected, with the switch from UK panel-board to biomass, and the reduction in exports, perhaps the outstanding features.
“The contribution of WRA members to the UK wood recycling industry has continued to grow strongly. I expect that, as the economy continues to recover, we shall see very positive results across all markets in a year from now.”
Meanwhile, Manchester-based Hadfield Wood Recyclers has secured a five-year extension to its contract with Viridor by which the company will continue to recycle around 35,000 tonnes of wood a year from Viridor’s 20 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) around Greater Manchester.
The Droylsden-based business has, since 2004, seen the amount of wood being recycled increase from 7,000 tonnes a year.
Vicki Hughes, group business development director, said: “We have done a lot of training on their sites to educate operatives as to what waste wood materials can be recycled and this has definitely contributed to the growth, along with a general increase in recycling awareness overall.”
The company is expanding its Manchester site by six acres to allow it to grow further. Recently, it secured a 12-year exclusive agreement to process waste wood into Tilbury Docks.