Report Addresses Wood Recycling in U.S. and Canada

Trends, best practices, and opportunities for growth


(Mpls, MN) - A new report from Dovetail Partners, a Minneapolis-based environmental think tank, addresses wood reuse and recycling in North America. The report includes recommendations for improvements in the recovery of post-consumer wood waste in the U.S. and Canada.


“Currently, the U.S. ranks 1st and Canada 3rd in total global wood production. Together these two countries produce about 28 percent of the world’s supply of industrial roundwood. Wood product companies in the U.S. and Canada utilize nearly 99 percent of their manufacturing inputs, aka pre-consumer recycling, at sawmills and at secondary wood processors such as furniture and cabinetmakers. This near-zero wood-waste within the major manufacturing sectors reflects decades of private and public effort to improve manufacturing processes, develop new products, and add value to wood as a versatile raw material,” states Jeff Howe, President of Dovetail Partners.


The purpose of the research project was to identify practices and trends in wood reuse and recycling in the U.S. and Canada, and to develop recommendations for increasing such activity. The project examined reuse and recycling from the forest through end-of-life situations for the full spectrum of wood products. The project was completed with support from the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, Forestry Innovation Investment, and the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Lab.


“The challenge for the future expansion of wood recovery is to go beyond pre-consumer recycling and undertake opportunities to increase utilization of wood classified as post-consumer, including waste from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and Construction & Demolition (C&D) collection sites,” says Howe.


The report authors found that for some wood products, post-consumer recycling is already commonly occurring, and there are opportunities for greater marketplace recognition and replication of best practices. In other situations, there are significant barriers to expanded wood recovery, reuse and recycling. Making progress in these situations is likely to require new and expanded partnerships, industry innovations, and an appetite for addressing the unique characteristics of wood as a renewable, and therefore naturally recyclable, material.


The full report, appendices and case studies are available


(Direct link to report site:




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.