Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
Criterion 6 Indicator 33
Degree of recycling of forest products.   The efficient use of Oregon’s forest resources is vital to forest sustainability. Forest products and manufacturing wastes can be recycled and reused, and this recycling can play a large role in the efficient use of forest resources. When compared with the total consumption of wood products, data on the amount of recycling can provide a good indicator of how effectively resources are being used.
Can This Indicator Be Quantified
Wood reclamation and recycling has taken place for centuries. When processing logs into boards, panels, and other wood products, mills generate wood residue in the form of bark, chips, and sawdust. Due to the growing demand for wood products, harvest restrictions, supply shortages, and consequent rises in lumber prices, wood products manufacturers are being spurred to maximize fiber utilization. The greatest obstacle to a higher rate of recycling is the absence of an infrastructure to salvage and reprocess wood (National Wood Recycling Directory, 1996). Wood products that can be recycled include brush and tree trimmings under 12 inches in diameter, tree residue over 12 inches in diameter, pallets, construction and demolition debris, preservative-treated wood, and engineered wood. Oregon currently has 48 wood recycling centers that are capable of recycling a variety of types of wood. However, many of these centers are small or specialize in one or two specific types of wood waste.  
Table 33-1 shows how much mill residue is produced in Oregon, and how much of this material is used. This information has only been collected since 1982, and only at three-year to four-year intervals. Table 33-2 displays information on paper recycling in Oregon, which in most categories has gone up significantly since data collection started in 1992.
Table 33-1. Utilization of mill residues in Oregon
Mill Residues
 SawmillsVeneer and PlywoodShake and Shingle
Mill residues are approximately 80% wood and 20% bark. Over 99 % are recycled.
 Use of Wood ResidueUse of Bark Residue
 pulp and boardfuelmisc. fuelMisc
 %%% %%
198267267 918
198564297 8811
1988612514 8712
1992603010 8316
199483107 8019
Source: Oregon´s Forest Products Industry, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Table 33-2. Paper materials recovered and recycled in Oregon, 1992-97
Paper Materials Recovered, 1992-1997
Material Type199219931994199519961997
Cardboard/craft paper204,729226,147251,559306,823304,093320,018
High-grade paper67,07744,49735,40141,90649,29851,614
Mixed waste paper24,01228,08740,56968,84256,87472,661
Fiber-based fuel   3,3029,2352,681
Total papers437,245440,741483,352583,973578,162624,498
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Solid Waste Department

Oregon’s paper waste recovery rate and amount recovered have increased each survey year since 1992, and stood at 624,498 tons of paper materials in 1997. For the past two years, 43 percent of recovered materials have been paper products, most of which have been cardboard or Kraft paper. Most wood residue is used for pulp and board industries, and most bark is used for fuel. Mill residue production has declined because total mill output has declined. For a further discussion of products made from mill residues, see Indicator #40.
Figure 33-1. Paper materials recovered in Oregon, 1992-97

Data Source and Availability
The following data sources were used for this indicator.
American Forest and Paper Association. 1996. National wood recycling directory. First edition. January 1996.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Solid Waste Department. Web site address: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wmc/solwaste/.
U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. Oregon’s Forest Products Industry. Portland, OR.
Newspaper, office, and scrap paper recycling data are available for 1992 to 1997. There is also some information about where this recycled paper is used, but the data is not very detailed. Information is available on the amount of mill residue and how it is recycled, but it is reported every three to four years, not on a yearly basis.

Reliability of Data
The mill data and recycling data are obtained through surveys that typically have good response rates. Mill residue data is based on average factors applied to product output numbers reported by the mills.

All recycling and mill residue data is collected at the state level.

Recommended Action for Data Collection
The forest products industry is continually involved in research and development projects aimed at producing traditional products more efficiently, inventing new products that incorporate waste materials such as chips and bark, and reducing the amount of materials used in production. It would be useful to have information on the amount of "waste" materials used in making new products, and on the reduction in the amount of raw materials used to make traditional products.

Mill residue — Wood and bark left over from sawmills, veneer, shake and shingle processing.

Selected References