4 Ways to Reduce Joinery Waste

Published Thursday 19th March 2015

Wood waste in the joinery sector is a big problem in terms of landfill. Although a lot of wood can be recycled, the challenge with this is that waste is very variable as it consists of all sorts of different wood-types, including those that can't be recycled conventionally.

Joinery businesses that crack down on waste won’t just be helping the environment – but can save themselves a few quid in the process. 

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best ways to tackle joinery waste and the most efficient ways to go about this.

1.    Only order what you need 

A high percentage of waste in joinery is due to over-ordering parts. While it’s comforting to have redundancies in place - ordering only what you require saves time finding a need for it later and saves money by reducing the up-front quantity.
 

2.    Re-use materials

Have a segregated area for waste on-site for recycling and let staff know that off-cuts are there to be used. Recycled wood like this can be sold for fuel in factories, while machine waste is ideal for animal bedding and compost.
 

3.    Re- think 

Are you being too excessive when it comes to offcuts and defects? While quality is vital, being more attentive to detail can dramatically reduce the amount of materials you waste. Also, consider using engineered timber. This type of wood can be made available to specific dimensions and because the knots and other imperfections of the timber have been removed, they produce less waste than normal softwood.
 

4.    Keep it secure

It’s all too easy to damage materials by storing them the wrong way or when moving them around site. Keeping your stock protected in from things like damp and take extra care when transporting these. While often under-looked, theft and vandalism is a factor to consider when storing your materials - lock it up securely and take note of who is handling it.
 
Why Reduce or Recycle? 

So now we've taken care of the how, here's the why:  

Even knowing how much you waste can give you a good idea on how to reduce costs for your company in the future. Estimating waste can benefit you in terms of your customer’s needs:  

For example, they may ask for your help to produce waste forecasts for their projects. It's also important to bear in mind Site Waste Management Plans – these are a legal requirement in England on all projects over £300k. 

But of course knowing is half the battle - doing something about it is even better:  

Reaping the benefits of reducing waste can be achieved by government funded programmes such as WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme). These programmes aim to help businesses and individuals to gain financial rewards, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way. You can find out more about this here

Additionally, the costs for disposing of wood can vary considerably, with an average of £1,200 per year according to BWF (2009) – so it makes sense to cut down on wasted materials and/or to recycle. Simply put - the less you waste, the less you pay. 

So not only does reducing/recycling your waste help save you money and meet your customer’s requirements, it demonstrates you are an informed contractor and a 'greener' company. 

And you? 

Do you have any more tips on reducing waste in joinery, or want to know more about how engineered timber can drastically reduce the amount of excess material you throw away? If so – don't hesitate to get in touch today.

Likewise, if you think we've missed anything important or have any questions – be sure to fire us a tweet.

Images used courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and cocoparisienne on Pixabay.