How LONG does it take for WOOD to DEGRADE - Degradation and more details

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Wood is a plant material that comes directly from trees, either from the trunk, branches or roots. Wood is characterized by its great qualities, making it stand out from other materials, such as metal or plastic. Some of these qualities are that wood is a biodegradable material and, in addition, when it is used it needs less energy to transform it into a product, without forgetting that it is also a great thermal insulator. Thanks to these aforementioned qualities, it is normal for wood to be used for different purposes, such as the manufacture of containers, furniture, rural houses, etc.

If you want to know how many years it takes for wood to degrade and other details about the further degradation of wood, continue reading this interesting article by Green Ecologist where it will be explained in detail how long it takes for wood to degrade, why it is important to recycle it, how to reuse it and how to recycle it properly.

How long does it take for wood to degrade?

Each material, depending on its composition and origin, has a certain degradation time, for example, a PET plastic bottle can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, while paper only one year. But, how long it takes for wood to degrade?

The wood degradation time Compared to other materials, being a natural material that comes directly from trees, it is relatively short. It is estimated that a wooden stake takes time to decompose between 2 and 3 years. However, if the wood, for example, is painted or has undergone some treatment, the degradation time of this could reach up to 15 years.

We encourage you to learn more about this material with this other post on Types of wood, their characteristics and classification.

Why is it important to recycle wood

Both recycling and reusing wood are important because, thus, we avoid extracting more new wood, that is to say of new raw materials. Therefore, we prevent forests from being deforested, since the high demand for wood currently contributes to the deforestation of large natural areas.

Another reason why reusing and recycling is important is that thanks to these two simple actions, it is achieved reduce waste generation. The reduction of waste avoids that a large part of our waste ends up in nature and, therefore, that these have a negative impact on it. In addition, the amount of waste in landfills is also reduced, it is important that the least possible amount of waste is destined to landfills, since these generate polluting gases and their mismanagement can also cause the soil and landscape to be degraded, as well. as groundwater and surface waters are polluted.

Here we tell you much more about the Importance of recycling wood.

How to reuse wood

When we have old wood that does not serve us, or a wooden product such as a piece of furniture that has been broken, before taking it to recycle, as a first option you can always see the possibility of reusing the wood. Some ideas to reuse wood They may be:

  • Make a table with the wooden boxes or nacelles that are used for vegetables. Thus it is possible to obtain a table that could be used in the living room, as a bedside table or for outdoor use. In addition, it can be painted or varnished to give it a more beautiful style that goes according to the decoration of our home.
  • The wooden stair steps, if they are old or if the stair is no longer used, can be restored to make a fantastic shelf to store books and place decorative objects.
  • With pallets and a little creativity, tables and sofas can be made. They can also be used to make racks to hang accessories such as hats, scarves, bags, among others. You can even use wooden pallets to make a composter to take better care of your garden or orchard.

How to recycle wood

Wood is a recyclable material, therefore, old wood that is no longer useful can be recycled. In fact, the recycling of wood is among one of the cheapest and cleanest, since it does not require chemical treatments or important physical processes. exist two ways to recycle wood, depending on its size:

  • Smaller wood, such as fruit boxes, can be deposited in the yellow container, also known as a container container.
  • Those wooden objects that are large, such as furniture, should be transferred to a clean point, since from there they will be taken to their corresponding recycling plant.

As we have already mentioned before the wood recycling it is one of the cleanest and cheapest. The steps to follow in the wood recycling process are:

  1. Visual inspection to determine each type of wood, as well as its quality.
  2. All the improper ones that are mixed with the wood are discarded.
  3. Once it is classified, the wood is crushed to obtain shavings or sawdust. All those elements, such as screws, are also separated in this phase.
  4. With recycled wood it is possible to obtain paper, make compost, be used for livestock, produce chipboard and also to generate energy thanks to gasification or incineration processes.

If you want to read more articles similar to How long does it take for wood to degrade?, we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category.

  • Ecoembes. (2022). How is old wood recycled? Where to deposit it ?:
  • Architecture News. 20 ways to reuse wooden pallets:
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