The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) is looking for companies across the timber industry to take part in a major initiative to improve the UK’s record on wood waste.

The Wood Waste Resource Efficiency Project (WWREP) has secured £50,000 of funding from the BRE Trust and Waste Recycling Action Programme (WRAP).

It is starting with pilot studies looking at the creation of wood waste collection hubs, use of wood energy in schools, and waste reduction through better procurement.

“The incentive to tackle this issue is more urgent than ever,” said BWF chief executive Richard Lambert. “While wood windows, for instance, achieved a strong rating in the latest Green Guide, areas it highlighted that manufacturers’ could improve included waste and end of life disposal.”

The WWREP, he added, also ties in with UK and European government insistence that industries draft ‘roadmaps’ for improving waste performance.

The project is driven by commercial considerations too.

“It’s estimated that half of all timber goes in waste and a survey of our members found they are spending an average of £2,000 a year to dispose of it,” said Mr Lambert.

To secure sector-wide input, the WWREP has set up a working group with other timber trade bodies and is also involving the Wood Recyclers Association.

Now it is looking for businesses to get involved with the pilots.

The wood waste collection study will focus on the M62 corridor which contains “a major cluster of timber companies,” said WWREP project manger John Fletcher.

The wood energy in schools pilot, he added, is being undertaken with Somerset County Council, while the timber procurement practice study is nationwide. The latter will look at how timber users and distributors can cut waste through sourcing the lengths they need and high yield engineered wood products.

Companies interested in participating should e-mail

Defra is holding a cross-industry meeting on wood waste in London on September 21.