Wood waste is the portion of the waste stream that can include discarded wood products, whole trees, stumps, or pruned branches generated during street and park maintenance. The primary constituents of wood waste are used lumber, trim, shipping pallets, trees, branches, and other wood debris from construction and demolition. The Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling Urban Wood Waste page suggests various ways to reuse this valuable resource.
In response to the fluctuating economy, four to six million tons of wood enters the waste stream annually. The majority of it comes from two sources: wood waste from activities related to construction, demolition, and renovation; and packaging (such as pallets) used to transport goods. Thus, the vast majority of wood waste is generated in the state’s large urban centers.
Recently, plant diseases (Sudden Oak Death and Pitch Canker) and insect damage (bark beetles) cause unprecedented tree mortality in some communities and several forested areas of California. The wood waste generated in coastal and southern California regions due to the associated tree mortalities impacts recycling efforts statewide. Fortunately, these pest problems are not common to most communities.