Feasibility of Composting Wood and Cardboard Waste with Garden Waste

24th January 2017

This report details a ADAS project, in collaboration with TRADA Technology, to determine the feasibility of composting wood and/or cardboard waste with Civic Amenity green waste or kerbside-collected green waste and kitchen waste.

Key points:
Determine the feasibility of composting wood and/or cardboard waste with green garden or household kitchen waste
Establish how to optimise the co-composting of these materials, identify the effects of including wood and/or cardboard in the composting mix and to assess how the quality of the compost is affected

Overview

Overview

The primary recycling method for wood waste is in the manufacture of new particle board products. Although the panelboard industry recycles some of its own waste, material such as chipboard, medium density fibreboard (MDF) and orientated strand board (OSB) cannot normally be recycled by this route. There is evidence that composting is a suitable waste management process for these materials, with windrow composting operations including panelboard and other wood wastes within the composting mix.

A recent WRAP study identified composting as a viable option for managing panelboard waste, although acknowledged that the process would need to be modified to suit the incoming feedstock. It is suggested that co-composting with green garden waste or household kitchen waste may speed up the process and may be beneficial to the overall compost quality.

This project started with a literature review of published information and current practice on the composting of wood and cardboard waste. The project also contacted a sample of existing UK compost operators to obtain information on existing practices and viewpoints on the inclusion of wood and/or cardboard as a feedstock.

The information gathered in these exercises was used to define the composting trials. The assessment stages included consideration of the quality of compost produced from the trials, as well as the practicalities and economic viability of such composting.

The final stages of the project included preparation and production of a guidance document on the feasibility of composting wood and/or cardboard with municipal waste.

You can download the guidance document and a full research report using the links below:

Download guidance document >>
Download research report >>

Guidance

Guidance

The following contents menu details the topics within the guidance document. You can use this to jump directly to the parts of the document relevant to you:

Introduction >>
Site Management >>
Cardboard >>
Chipboard >>
Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) >>
Market Waste >>
Processing Costs and Income >>

Research

Research

The following contents menu details the topics within the research document. You can use this to jump directly to the parts of the document relevant to you:

Description and objective of work >>
Overall Methodology >>
Literature survey >>
Wood residues >>
Operator Survey >>
Case studies >>
Composting trials >>
Conclusions >>
Further information >>

Where next?

Want to know more about composting? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>