North American Forest Products Industry Wood Utilization

Lead Author: Dr. Jim Bowyer

Publish date: 10.08.2012

 

Understanding and Supporting the Benefits of Zero-Waste

 

The term "waste" is largely obsolete in the context of today's North American forest products industry. Logs brought to U.S. and Canadian sawmills and other wood products manufacturing centers are converted almost totally to useful products, leaving little to no waste. But it hasn't always been this way. The sector has made great strides since the 1930s, and in-terms of wood use, it has become a zero-waste industry. This is a remarkable achievement and the result of investments in technology, new product development, and increased attention to reducing the environmental impacts of manufacturing. The next challenge for the industry will be to find ways to increase wood re-use and recovery for recycling at the end of use.