New Report Examines Recycling in Green Building

A review of 90 green building standards finds trends in recovery, reuse, and recycling


(Mpls, MN) – A new report released by Dovetail Partners, a non-partisan environmental think-tank, examines recycling provisions in North American green building programs. The researchers reviewed 90 green building standards to identify requirements related to material recovery, reuse, recycling, and recycled content.


“Through the review of 90 programs, we identified 42 distinct green building standards in current use in the United States and Canada,” reports Dr. Jim Bowyer, lead author on the report. “41 of these 42 standards award the reuse, reclamation or recovery of material – and 38 recognize use of recycled content materials.”


The review focused on the reuse and recycling of materials, including wood products that already include high levels of recycled content. Products such as medium density and high density fiberboard (MDF and HDF), particleboard, and finger-jointed wood can count towards green building requirements for use of materials with recycled content.


“Most fiberboard and particleboard products include recycled content of 75 to 97%, which exceeds most green building program requirements,” says Bowyer.


The complete report is available for free to download from the Dovetail Partners website ( The full report provides detailed information about individual green building program requirements.


The report was developed with support from the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, Forestry Innovation Investment, and the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Lab.




Full Report Citation:

Bowyer, J., Bratkovich, S., Fernholz, K., and Howe, J. 2013. An Examination of Wood Recycling Provisions in North American Green Building Programs. Dovetail Partners pp25. Available at:


About Dovetail Partners

Dovetail Partners provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions, including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives. Dovetail is a highly skilled team that fosters sustainability and responsible behaviors by collaborating to develop unique concepts, systems, models and programs. Dovetail Partners is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.