Reclaimed timber

The NFDC, CIWM and WRA jointly produced a guide, primarily for wood recyclers and demolition contractors about recycling of timber which claims that reusable timber is possibly hazardous.

Their definition for ‘hazardous waste wood’ might include ‘wood from docks’ – see table below – sources/grade D ‘hazardous waste below. Many British docks, piers and other marine installations were built in Victorian and early 20th century using timbers such as greenheart and purple heart which are still in very good condition. When repairs are needed after storm damage much of the reusable timber is sent for landfill. Greenheart timber was imported from former British Guiana in South America and is a very hard dense and extremely durable tropical hardwood which is still specified by landscape designers and sought after by reclamation dealers. Most dense hardwoods cannot be impregnated with poisonous chemical timber treatments so the interior wood is probably clean and of superb quality. The oldest known weathered UK hardwoods are in external doors of some churches which are over one thousand years old, and still working well.

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