Today, the UK’s Enviroment Agency require all professional tree surgeons and arboriculture contractors to carry a valid waste transfer licence. The implications of this means that anyone who carries green waste, i.e. woodchip or timber, must hold correct and valid licences, and must also be registered with the local Environment Agency. Without this licence, or at least registering any license-exempt activities, it is actually illegal to remove green waste from a site.
In terms of European legislation, the EU Landfill Directive is driving local authorities to reduce the volume of biodegradable waste which is put into landfills. Green waste produces methane, a dangerous ‘greenhouse’ gas, when left to decompose in landfill sites, hence the reasoning for the Directive. The waste also produces liquid chemicals, called a leachate, which can pollute local water, soil and land.
Epic Tree Care takes environmental issues and the issue of today’s rapidly depleting landfill sites extremely seriously. We are particularly committed to providing local authorities, fellow tree surgeons and landscape gardeners with a reliable method of green garden waste recycling. Everything we remove from site is recycled appropriately, and nothing at all ends up in a landfill.
What is Green Waste?
Green waste includes pruned branches, loose leaves and lopped off logs. So pretty much anything left over after trimming, clipping, pruning and felling during tree surgery. The waste is biodegradable which is high in nitrogen (unlike brown waste with high levels of carbon).
Green waste can be split into 3 types:
Woodchip: this is small bits of wood from branches and/or tree trunks and can usually be processed by a wood chipper. After the chipper reduces bits of wood in size, this woodchip has lots of different uses as a recycled matter. Most waste left over from our tree surgery projects is recycled this way.
Timber: sometimes larger chunks of wood tend to have more value in one piece as opposed to being put through the chipper. Timber and other types of wood are often more useful as logs.
Non-chippable waste: this is the other parts of waste not appropriate for the chipper, including but not limited to; hedge trimmings, leaves and any dirt, stones and grit in among the green waste. This general collection is called ‘non-chippable waste’, which is recycled in a slightly different way.
Why Recycle Green Waste?
As green waste is biodegradable it can be broken down by other organisms and living things. It can be incredibly beneficial to the ecosystem, so it shouldn’t be left to rot in landfills.
After green waste passed through the wood chipper and has been formed into Woodchip, there are lots of ways which it can be used. Several of our customers request to keep hold of it as it’s useful for lining garden pathways or borders. Woodchip can also be sold as ‘mulch’, placed on top of the soil to improve it’s fertility and also discourage growth of weeds. Woodchip has to be left to compost for many months until it will be effective mulch, meaning it needs storage somewhere prior to the reuse.
If logs, timber or similar wood is left over in the green waste, our customers may request to keep it. Logs are useful as firewood, and can also be used more creatively in building or used as planks for beams, decking or furniture. If customers do not need the timber, it can be distributed to individuals or companies who put it to use.
Recycling Non-Chippable Waste
Non-chippable waste is generally the hardest of green waste matters to recycle. However, after it is recycled it is excellent as fuel. The waste has to be processed first of all, which is done on an industrial scale once enough matter has been gathered together. Secondly, after the waste is shredded or pulped, it is used as biomass fuel at power stations.
Epic Tree Care is firmly committed to an environmentally-friendly policy, recycling 99% of all green waste.
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Our qualified team of experienced Arborists offer sustainable and cost-effective forestry and arboriculture services. For the long-term health and success of your trees. From small urban gardens, large estates and anything in between.