Options for increasing the recovery of panelboard waste

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Wood-based panelboard materials such as medium density fibreboard (MDF), particleboard, plywood, oriented strand board (OSB) and melamine faced particleboard (MFC) are being increasingly used in the manufacture of furniture items and in the construction and refurbishment of buildings. Particleboard, often known as chipboard in the UK, did not really evolve until after the Second World War, newer products such as MDF and OSB grew enormously in popularity in the 1980s and 1990s. Between 1961 and 2003, consumption of wood-based panels grew sixfold in the UK to 6.1 million m3 in 2003. With the increase in the production of design-led products there are greater quantities of panelboard waste in the wood waste stream. Wood-based panels are not generally considered ideal for recycling back into new panelboards or added-value products, but research has been undertaken world-wide to try to overcome this. TRADA Technology was therefore commissioned by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) to review the options for managing panelboard waste and to identify ways of increasing the reuse, recycling, composting or energy recovery rates of wood-based panelboard waste.

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