Panel products specialist shows commitment to waste reduction

WOOD-based panel products specialist West Fraser (trading as Norbord), has outlined its dedication to recovering as much value as possible from the resources used.

At the firm’s Cowie site, West Fraser revealed it is working with a third-party provider of recycling and resource recovery to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill while also achieving ‘substantial’ cost savings.

The company operates MDF and particleboard production lines at the location. Last year, more than 3,200 tonnes of waste were removed from the site as part of its recycling programme. Compared to the previous year, the recycling rate has improved 10%, with 62% of waste now recycled on-site. The business said this is expected to increase to 66% by the end of 2022.

A high proportion of the waste generated comes from West Fraser’s use of recycled wood during its manufacturing process. To remove any scrap materials that would interfere with the manufacturing process, the wood is screened before use, which generates a variety of dry mixed recycling waste.

To make the collection of this waste more efficient, larger recycling bins have been placed across the site. As a result, West Fraser added that vehicle movements on site have been reduced by 11% and often take place at night. Together, these strategies are said to have enabled a 37% reduction in waste and savings of more than £24,000 in transport and disposal costs, while also reducing vehicle emissions.

West Fraser and its recycling partner are now exploring other ways to continue diverting wastes from landfill, including specialised equipment that recovers light plastics and films.