Wood recycling is the process of taking waste wood products, grinding it up and using the wood chips which are generated for other purposes. Wood recycling businesses typically use a tub grinder (see photo) or a horizontal grinder to accomplish this process. Although portable wood chippers are often used for small projects, it’s rare a portable wood chipper would be used in a wood recycling operation as efficiency is vital for success.
As mentioned in “What Can Be Recycled”, the wood products that are recyclable are tree branches, brush, stumps, small trees, and clean scrap wood from new construction. Some wood products that are the result of a building being demolished can also be ground up and recycled.* Larger trees are usually limbed and sold as timber** or cut up for firewood.
*Although many of these products can be recycled and/or reused, great care must be given to the handling of hazardous materials which may be generated from demolition jobs. Hazardous materials can include surfaces covered in lead paint or mold, asbestos, wood products treated with preservatives and/or containing glue, just to name a few. Hazardous material must be disposed of in accordance to local, State and Federal laws.
**When cutting down trees which will be sold for timber, check with your local US Forest Service for their reporting requirements. Timber that is sold to others may be subject to a Federal (and possibly a State) timber tax. If in doubt, consult your attorney.