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Green Blog

Recycle Wood Floors

By FAF Staff Writer, (266 words) Posted in Hardwood on December 8, 2009
There are (37) comments permalink

Climate change and global warming will be discussed this week at the Copenhagen Climate Conference which global leaders from 182 countries will attend. Time-based methods to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions will figure high on the agenda. Most leading countries are expected to make firm commitments on time–frame reductions.

Decomposition of human–related waste in landfills is the largest source of methane emissions in the United States. Weight for weight, methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide to atmospheric warming. The United States alone contributed 6 million tons of methane–generating wood waste to landfills in 2003.

Recycling of wood floors has several benefits, some of which are:

  • Reduces greenhouse gases from landfills
  • Spares the harvesting of virgin trees from the world’s forests; protects plant and animal life, absorbs harmful carbon dioxide and generates more life–supporting oxygen. A million square feet or recyclable lumber can save a thousand acres of forest. An acre of forest absorbs 5,800 pounds of carbon dioxide and exhales 4,280 pounds of oxygen per year.
  • Results in energy savings because recycling waste wood requires less energy than harvesting virgin materials.

Here are some of the best ways to contribute to recycling of wood floors:

  • Donate used wood flooring to charities that require and use discarded building materials.
  • Locate companies that take wood flooring and recycle it into reusable floors.
  • Check out the Smartwood directory that list companies that use salvaged lumber as the raw material for new products.
  • Earth 911 offers a search engine to direct you to a wood recycling center near you.
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Recycling Coalition both list resource locations on their websites.

Salvage used wood and do your bit for Planet Earth.

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