A chip off the old block

Press Releasein Industry News

A chip off the old block

WRAP calls on industry to recognise the potential of recycled wood.

A new campaign aimed at heightening awareness of the benefits of using recycled woodchip in landscaping and leisure markets has been launched today by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme).

Entitled 'Recycled Wood Works Wonders', the campaign will highlight to local authority procurers, specifiers, facilities managers and those working in the landscaping industry that recycled woodchip is a versatile and effective alternative to other surfacing and mulch products. To deliver maximum impact, it will involve a series of site visits, seminars, direct mail, advertising and public relations activity.

Julia Turner, Material Development Manager - Wood at WRAP, said: "Recycled woodchip is an excellent mulch, pathway and play surface material. It offers many performance benefits, is cost effective due to its long-lasting properties and requires little maintenance. As well as commercial benefits,these recycled products also provide a number of environmental benefits."

The majority of recycled wood is currently used in panel board manufacturing, however, WRAP aims to increase demand for recycled wood by raising awareness of additional uses such as surfacing and horticultural mulches.

The campaign is particularly relevant in the light of the EU Landfill Directive and national packaging and recycling targets, which are pushing

sustainable procurement higher up the agenda and encouraging many organisations to specify the use of sustainable products.

The performance benefits of recycled wood include:

  • Durability - takes five years to break down. This is because recycled woodchip is tougher and has low water content, making it more resistant to the natural degradation process. This durability is particularly beneficial in wetter areas, for example those subject to periodic waterlogging or on top of clay, where bark may rot more quickly

  • Low maintenance - reduces maintenance requirements such as hand weeding and chemical weeding by acting as an efficient weed suppressant and helping to retain moisture, allowing less frequent watering. This is particularly beneficial in areas where maintenance is difficult, for example on road verges and traffic islands. Recycled woodchip also needs replacing less frequently than other materials because it not only lasts a long time but is not blown away by the wind as easily

  • Suitable for steep inclines - adheres effectively to steep slopes as it knits together well and is denser than other products. In addition, it can be used in situations where traditional bark mulches are rapidly washed downhill or blown away by the wind

  • Visually attractive - available in a variety of colours, including light natural shades that highlight plant foliage. All are coloured using organic dyes

  • Non-damaging - does not harm surrounding areas and plants if moved, and does not damage mowers on surrounding grass. Also, it does not collect on the spikes of golf shoes

  • Weatherproof - resistant to wind erosion, acts as an insulation layer reducing the effects of ground freezing and always provides a usable surface and safe footing, even during rain

  • Clean - clean and easy to handle when laying and does not stick to users' shoes

  • Easy accessibility - easy for people pushing wheelchairs or pushchairs and is resistant to rutting by wheels

  • Quieter and easier to walk on - is softer underfoot than bark and gravel

  • Safe - non-toxic and safe for children and animals

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