Wood recycling boosted by draft Quality Protocol


The draft Quality Protocol has been issued today (March 16) as part of the joint Environment Agency/WRAP Waste Protocols Project. It aims to outline a clear end-of-waste position for waste wood being reprocessed for use in panel board and landscaping applications.

The Environment Agency says the Protocol will support the diversion of one million tonnes of waste wood from landfill every year


According to the Environment Agency, the Protocol will support the diversion of over one million tonnes of waste wood from landfill a year by creating certainty over when wood is no longer subject to waste regulation, making it a more marketable product.

Martin Brocklehurst, head of environment and business partnerships at the Environment Agency, said: “We’ve worked closely with Defra, WRAP and the wood industry to bring a clear end of waste position for wood. We’ve based this protocol on scientific evidence that indicates this material can be safely used as a quality product.”

The draft Protocol does not cover the use of treated wood as fuel for biomass, which some have predicted will be a major market for waste wood in the future.

Animal bedding is also excluded from the document, but Mr Brocklehurst said he was hopeful that both end uses could be included in the future development of the Protocol.

“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 and 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.”


The draft Quality Protocol has been developed in close cooperation with the Wood Recyclers’ Association, whose secretary, Peter Butt, welcomed the fact that it had been published at the second attempt (see letsrecycle.com story).

“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,” he said.

“We are obviously pleased to see that two of our industry’s end uses are seen as having the potential for a QP, including panel board which remains comfortably our largest market.”

Mr Butt stressed that the WRA was still “very keen” to achieve a protocol for markets such as animal bedding and biomass, and, said we “therefore see the QP consultation process as a massive opportunity for our industry to have their say and to come forward with the evidence that will make this happen”.

The six-week consultation on the draft quality protocol runs until April 27.