Recycled wood chip booming, says WRAP

Sales of recycled wood chips have risen 11,500 tonnes over the last year, following a campaign to promote the material for use on paths, plant beds and play areas.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a government-funded programme to promote more efficient use of resources, says that 60% of wood recyclers have reported an increase in sales since the beginning of the campaign.

WRAP says that 7,750 tonnes of recycled wood material was sold for use as a landscape surface in 2005. Total sales of wood products for surfacing totalled 330,000 tonnes, or £62 million.

Primarily targeting local authorities and commercial firms that procure supplies for landscapers, the campaign aimed to raise the profile of the recycled chips.

Julia Turner, material development manager at WRAP, said: "Prior to our campaign, recycled wood chip was one of the best-kept secrets in the landscaping sector. Fortunately, this has changed significantly over the course of the last 12 months."

More local authorities now know that recycled wood is an option for landscaping, and more know where to get hold of the product. WRAP says awareness levels have risen from 2% to 18%.

WRAP also reports that their campaign has also prompted one firm that targets domestic consumers to start selling the chips.

Among the producers who have been wooed by the WRAP campaign is the Scotts Company, a major lawn and garden care firm, has begun selling recycled wood chips through its Levington brand at garden centres around the country.

Gretchen Hendriks



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