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The Green File / La filière verte > Comment "Wood waste gets a home, for now"

Wood waste gets a home, for now
by Ross Nichol, September 2, 2009
Wood waste gets a home, for now

Theresa Mcmanus, The Record
Published: Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Royal City residents are making use of a pilot project that's trying to highlight the fact that wood doesn't have to be wasted.

Metro Vancouver's new "home reno wood depot" has been set up outside the Coquitlam Home Depot store to explore ways to reduce the massive quantity of wood being buried in landfills.

The pilot project, which started Aug. 3, runs until Sept. 30 (7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends).

So far it has been quite popular," said Greg Valou, a communications officer with Metro Vancouver. "We get about four to five tonnes a day."

According to Metro Vancouver, more than 20 per cent of the waste generated in the region is wood, much of it being lumber and wood products disposed of by the residential and commercial sector. That's enough wood to fill more than 15,000 dump trucks.

The pilot project is investigating the financial, social and environmental viability of establishing recycling depots for home renovation waste near home renovation outlets.

"Facilities that recycle construction and demolition waste from major projects are already well-established in this region," said Metro Vancouver waste management committee vice-chair Joe Trasolini in a press release. "This demonstration project will help us learn how to divert more wood and construction waste from the growing home renovation market."

Valou said the idea is that people who are heading to Home Depot to buy some construction supplies would use the trip to drop off items for recycling.

"We are making it convenient for people to drop off the waste," he said.

Valou noted that when construction materials are disposed of at landfills, people must pay a tipping fee. There is no charge to take the items to the home reno wood depot.

Instead of going into landfills, Valou said the wood that is collected at the depot is being trucked to Urban Wood Waste Recyclers, who will chip it for hot fuel, composting and mulch.

The Coquitlam Home Depot participating in the pilot project is located at 1900 United Boulevard.