Here in the Great Northwest there is hardly another commodity that could be considered so quintessentially symbolic of the Northwest. The forests of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia are some of the most magnificent in the world, and recycling is an important part of our sustainable stewardship of this resource base. Today, by growing our recycling infrastructure, we are planting a new forest, the urban forest; one that we hope will benefit many generations to come.
Urban wood resources include lumber and wood products sorted from construction and demolition debris as well as the many pallets, crates and manufacturing scraps produced throughout our industries. In addition to lumber and building products, wood is the backbone of a diverse paper and box making industry in the northwest. Recycled wood can be used for renewable biomass energy in place of virgin wood resources and fossil fuels. Mills that use wood derived fuels have cogeneration plants that use steam heat from boilers to heat the mills and power turbines that generate electricity. An ever growing portion of the recycled wood stream is now being sorted and processed through more sophisticated systems so that it can actually be used to make pulp for new paper production. Job sites today may see some of their own debris hauled away for recycling come back to the site as a new cardboard box.