Landscaping Industry failing to recognise benefits of Recycled Woodchip
Only three per cent of landscaping specifiers, purchasers and professionals are aware of the potential for recycled woodchip, to be used as a loose surfacing material, according to new research* revealed today.
WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) commissioned the research among key decision-makers from local authorities, landscaping contractors and landscape architects in support of its work to promote the benefits of using recycled woodchip as a mulch for plant beds and as a surface material for pathways and play areas.
The research also showed that usage of recycled woodchip was even lower at 2%, with the main reasons cited by respondents for not using the product being that they were unaware of it, they had never considered it and that it was not available to them.
Many, however, said that they would be motivated to switch to recycled woodchip because it is environmentally friendly; cheaper and more cost effective; or if it had been requested by a client.
Of the small proportion with first-hand experience of working with recycled woodchip, the findings were overwhelmingly positive as they considered the product to be good value for money and easy to install.
Julia Turner, Material Development Manager for wood at WRAP, said: "It is understandable that so many people involved in landscaping are not aware that recycled woodchip can be used as a mulch or surfacing for paths and play areas, but we are working very hard to change that.
"Recycled woodchip is an extremely durable product, taking up to five years to break down, and it also reduces maintenance requirements such as weeding and watering because it is very efficient at suppressing weeds and retaining soil moisture.
"It is good to note however, that once landscaping professionals have worked with recycled woodchip, their feedback is consistently positive. Not only do users recognise the product's environmental credentials, they are also impressed by its multiple performance benefits which span everything from durability to cost and low maintenance. We urge local authorities and their contractors to try out recycled woodchip and see the benefits for themselves. Anyone interested should contact Julia Turner, Material Development Manager for wood at WRAP on 01295 819631 or via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org"
Consumption of wood in the UK is estimated to be approximately 47 million tonnes per year, while waste wood generated is estimated at 10.5 million tonnes. Currently only 1.2 million tonnes per annum are being recycled.
*The research was carried out by MSS Research in March/April 2005 and was based on 252 telephone interviews with local authorities, landscape contractors and landscape architects.