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Wood waste exports increase six-fold

The amount of wood waste going to export increased six-fold in 2010, according to statistics from the Wood Recyclers Association (WRA).

Produced from its members’ data, the annual market statistics for 2010 show that 540,000 tonnes of wood was exported, which is 457,000 tonnes higher than in 2009, when WRA members exported 83,000 tonnes.

Of the 540,000 tonnes of wood waste, 377,000 tonnes were destined for the biomass industry and 163,000 tonnes for the panel board industry. Figures estimated wood for biomass or energy applications on the domestic market increased by 11% across the whole of the wood waste industry.

WRA chairman Clem Spencer said: “The rapid growth in exports was anticipated, particularly in biomass. We expect these to ease when UK plants come on-line. I am particularly pleased that, given the level of exports, we were still able to satisfy the growing demands of UK board mills, which remain by far our biggest customers. We are also delighted with the growth in animal bedding production.”

Figures showed total increases in the output to UK markets across panel board, animal bedding and equine surfaces of 5%, 8% and 3% respectively. WRA members, in particular, experienced a sharp 13% rise in the amount of animal and poultry bedding going on to the market.

Spencer added: “These increases also reflect the tremendous efforts of Defra, the environment agencies, WRAP and civic amenity sites, in addition to wood recyclers, to divert significant tonnages away from landfill.”

Overall, waste wood to market in 2010 increased by 6.6%.

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