Wood

Wood is a rather uncommon material in our daily separate waste collection, however it is not less important than the others. Wood, like plastic, does not always have the same characteristics. In fact there are many different kinds of wood, that are used in different ways depending on their nature. In any case recycling wood is very important for two reasons: firstly natural resources are preserved, since by recovering the material less trees are felled, and secondly, by avoiding sending wood to the dump there is a saving in emissions in the atmosphere of methane and carbon dioxide, which are gases that alter the climate. With regard to household separate waste collection, wooden items are mainly furniture, interior decorations, doors, fixtures and various bulk items, while wooden packaging is present in negligible quantities in the form of crates for fruits and vegetables, prestigious boxes for wines, liquors and distilled alcohol, small boxes for cheese corks, and occasionally pallets.
For this reason, wooden materials follow a separate circuit and are collected locally after contacting the appointed consortium, Rilegno, or they can be personally taken to suitably equipped stations or ecologic areas that are made available for the citizens. All the wood can be recycled and the resulting material is of a good quality. Wood waste that is collected, is prevalently subjected to mechanical recycling. The material from the platforms is selected and cleaned so as to eliminate any foreign bodies (metal, paper, various plastics, inert materials), after which it is chopped into small chips that are ready for use. These chips, after a drying process that is necessary in order to limit the level of humidity, are pressed with glues with a very low formaldehyde content, in order to produce chip-boards, which have the same characteristics as new chip-boards, used in the production furniture, interior decoration accessories and coverings for indoor and outdoor structures in homes and offices. 95% of wood waste is processed in this way. The remaining amount is used for the production of cellulose paste for the paper mills or is subjected to treatment that makes it suited for use as a raw material for the realization of wood and cement blocks that are used in green building projects. A small part can be used in composting plants, for the production of compost or loam for sale on a large scale. Lastly, wood waste can be transformed by means of various processes into solid fuel for incineration plants or for biomass combustion plants for the production of heat and energy. Another regeneration method is foreseen for pallets, which can be separated and re-introduced in the consumer circuits. According to ISPRA, in 2015 64.2% of the packaging that is used in the consumer market in Italy was recovered.

Sources (in italian):
Rilegno, Consorzio nazionale per la raccolta, il recupero e il riciclaggio degli imballaggi di legno
Cassinelli N., Del Duro R. La raccolta differenziata dei rifiuti e il riciclo delle materie seconde, FrancoAngeli, 2007

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