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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 39, Issue 1 — January 2013

Conversion Efficiency and Economics of Urban Wood Utilization    (View PDF)

Craig A. Tinus and Michael LaMana

Abstract: Because of changes in land-use zoning, many standard forest management activities are no longer possible in urban and suburban woodland properties being developed. This trend has created an influx of wood fiber into municipal landfills at significant cost to both landowners and municipalities. An alternative to landfill or other off-site disposal was evaluated that returned wood products to the landowner in a fee-for-service business model. Additionally, the cost for removal was modeled in comparison to the potential value of the wood as lumber.In a case study, the overall average marginal difference to the landowner for material removal was a cost of USD $35 from all job sites (n = 21); which was essentially break-even. This approach was cost competitive with landfill disposal, and landowners were able to benefit from wood products derived from trees that were being removed because of site development. Additionally, these landowners were preferentially choosing a form of material recycling that likely reduced the load to municipal waste disposal sites, and as such was a benefit to the community.

Keywords: Avoided Disposal; Hedonic Valuation; Log; Lumber; Municipal; Recycling; Sawmill; Wood Waste

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