National Timber Product Stewardship Group

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COVID-19 & Our Group

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the daily lives of humans globally. This has led to a dramatic loss of human lives due to the rapid spread of the virus. It has also succeeded in slowing down the world’s economy because of the interruptions on businesses and world trades. The pandemic has come as a surprise to most of us and has made us realise the worth of the things and people we take for granted.

The COVID-19 pandemic is everywhere, and Australia is not left out. Obviously, human beings are at the centre stage, but is there anything that is not affected in a way? Not even the timber waste recovery process or collection and recycling because all our staff or employees are currently working from home. We can only ensure that the organisation’s operations run as they should and prevent any major disruptions.

The COVID-19 situation has really affected the timber sector in Australia. Several sawmills have implemented production cutbacks in response to the reduced demand for timber. After all, people need to stay socially distant and even stay back at home to curb the spread of the virus. Truly, this is a time to seek a balance between supply and demand in the timber sector.

In Australia, the number of steps backwards that the government has taken during this global pandemic to keep everyone safe is saddening. Timber waste is likely to be more of an issue going forward. Why? Household timber and wood are presently being placed in the wood and timber waste dumpster, which will be recycled later.

The scrap wood market in Australia is not left behind too. Ever since the pandemic, there has been a sudden decrease in construction, land clearing, and demolition activities. This has resulted in a reduction in the generation of wood scrap recycling and processing. The result is that the scrap wood market has entered a state of stubbornness that recyclers hope will be a brief phenomenon that will not lead to long-lasting financial hardship.

Also, there are times when wood residues during the processing of timber cannot get recycled. What then can we do? We can use them in the production of biomass energy. This energy represents renewable energy, that gets sourced from various natural items like wood. In turn, it then becomes a vital component for the generation of heat or electricity.

From previous studies, the National Timber Product Stewardship Group has come to realise that the energy production from renewable timber combustion emits over fifty times fewer greenhouse emissions when compared to black coal combustion. Similarly, it emits over thirty times less when compared to natural gas during its use in industrial facilities.

It is noteworthy that the wood residue utilised during energy production has two key environmental advantages. At first, its use limits industry reliance on fossil fuels that damages the environment. In turn, it prevents the release of exhaustible carbon stores. Secondly, this energy omits fewer greenhouse gas emissions when compared to typical alternatives.

Due to the pandemic, Australia’s energy consumption patterns have shifted, with considerable declines in personal and leisure transportation and in some industrial sectors. Wood recyclers say that the markets for their wood fuel products have not been greatly impacted. However, the trouble they see on the horizon hinges on the likelihood of overall energy and fuel glut that will have ripple effects.