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Timber Waste Recycling: How Trees Go Full Circle

Timber Waste Recycling: How Trees Go Full Circle

At Mid-Atlantic Timberframes, our sustainability practices go beyond just the natural materials we use in our structures. First, we work with timber suppliers who plant as many as ten times the number of trees they cut down for timber manufacturing. And second, we also ensure that any timber waste or scrap timber from our manufacturing process is used again in some other form.

There is waste in every manufacturing process, and timber manufacturing is no exception. In order to achieve large, square, solid timber beams and posts, some wood needs to be sawn from the edges of even larger trees. So what happens to the wood we saw off in our manufacturing process? Thankfully, we’re able to recycle our timber waste and give it new life.

In our workshop, all the sawdust produced in the timber manufacturing process is collected by a state-of-the-art collection system. This keeps the dust from collecting in our equipment, which can damage it and shorten its life cycle. It also protects our employees from breathing the sawdust in. Collected sawdust is used by some manufacturers to make particleboard, while others may use it as a fuel source. Our sawdust and wood shavings are used for an altogether different purpose.

Larger wood blocks and cutoffs produced in our manufacturing process are fed into a chipper/grinder, which grinds the wood blocks into shavings. The sawdust and shavings  — about 500 to 600 cubic yards each month — are then sold to a shavings broker, who sells them to local dairy and chicken farmers for bedding. The bedding keeps farm animals warm and comfortable and also absorbs their waste. This rich combination of animal waste and raw wood is later spread on farm fields as fertilizer, enriching the soil to help provide healthy crops. Through this method of timber waste recycling, our trees go full circle — they start in the ground and go back to the ground!

At Mid-Atlantic Timberframes, we pride ourselves on having zero timber waste. When you work with us, you can feel good knowing you’re taking part in a sustainable building process.

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