Minimising loss: a more efficient way of collecting waste wood
Every year Unilin Group recycles close to 1 million tonnes of wood. Still, there’s always room for improvement. For example, up to 20% of the wood used in the Dutch furniture industry goes to waste during the manufacturing process. This wood is still useful to the Unilin Group. The solution? Wood Loop.
It is clear that this wood must be reintroduced into the chain and the way to do this is through industry-wide collaboration. That is why the Dutch industry association for interior design & furniture industry (CBM) founded Wood Loop: an innovative organisation making it both easy and affordable for wood processors, timber merchants and panel material manufacturers of every size to recycle MDF and chipboards. Unilin Group is more than happy to join this initiative.
How does it work?
Wood Loop in 4 stages:
1/Sorting chipboards and MDF
Previously all waste wood from furniture companies and interior design builders was collected in bulk by waste companies, who sorted it themselves. From now on furniture companies and interior design builders will sort their own residual chipboards and MDF into separate Wood Loop crates. One crate contains up to 360 kilograms of chipboard or 410 kilograms of MDF. By sorting this waste at the source, Wood Loop is able to recover a larger portion of waste wood for reuse.
2/ All-in-one collection and delivery
When a Wood Loop crate is full, the interior design builder or furniture company scans the QR code on the crate. The timber merchant who distributes panel material collects the full crate and delivers an empty replacement together with the delivery of new panel material. Combining collection and delivery in this manner enables Wood Loop to limit the CO2 emissions even further.
3/ Collection and processing
Wood Loop collects the waste wood of the affiliated companies in a single location to enable bulk transport to Unilin Group for processing.
4/ New products or valorisation
With the reusable waste wood Unilin Group manufactures new panels, which are used in a number of products. In turn, these products are shipped back to the furniture companies and interior design builders to bring the process full circle.
What is new about Wood Loop?
Instead of developing two separate circuits (a timber merchant supplies new panel material and a waste processor collects waste wood for sorting) all stages of the process come together in a single movement. The panel material distributor drops off a new load of panel material and at the same time collects the pre-sorted waste wood. It doesn’t get any more efficient than that.
And to top it off: Wood Loop boasts much lower CO2 emissions than other collection processes, precisely because it is embedded into existing logistical processes. Instead of sending out additional trucks to collect the waste wood, one single truck both supplies new panel material and collects the waste wood. An absolute win-win!