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Wood waste prices could rise as supply declines, says WRAP's wood waste report

Wood waste in the UK may be in decline, while demand is set to rise leading to price rises and wood shortages, according to a study by the Waste and Resources Action Programme.

WRAPs report Wood Waste Market in the UK has estimated that the quantity of wood waste arising in the UK in 2008 was between 4.5 and 4.6 million tonnes, which is significantly lower than previous predictions.

Additionally, the report has pointed out that wood waste arisings are likely to decline by as much as 14 per cent from its pre-recession peak over the next year. It is thought waste wood supplies may not recover to their pre-recession levels for another five years.

However, the combined output of the three main user industries of waste wood manufacture of wood panels, animal bedding and as feedstock for energy from waste facilities will recover by 2010. It is estimated that electricity generating capacity that is likely to use wood waste will increase by 1 ½ times its current capacity by 2011. This will mean there will be increased demand for wood on a smaller UK wood waste supply.

WRAP director of market development Marcus Gover said: Our new report gives valuable insights as to the issues currently affecting the wood waste market in the UK. It brings into focus the real need to ensure were recovering our arisings of waste wood as efficiently and to as high a standard as possible. WRAP is keen to offer practical business guidance to recyclers and reprocessors working to meet the challenges this situation will bring.

It was found that the construction and demolition sectors are the largest generators of wood waste, with the construction sector the largest end user of wood products in the UK, consuming 6.2 million tonnes of wood annually. Activity in these areas has fallen sharply due to the recession therefore equally affecting the amount of wood waste generated in the UK.

WRAP also hopes the report will inform work being conducted on the Waste Protocols Project a joint initiative between WRAP and the Environment Agency - which could result in the development of a quality protocol for wood waste.

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