How long does it take for wood to degrade

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.

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 does it take for wood to degrade ?

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

Why is it important to recycle wood

Both the recycling and the reuse of wood are important because, in this way, we avoid the extraction of more new wood , that is, 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 reuse and recycling is important is that thanks to these two simple actions, it is possible to reduce the generation of waste . 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 contaminated.

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 can 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.

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. There are 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 , wood recycling 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.

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