The Australia Institute has released a brilliant new infographic on what ends up as waste and woodchips from a Tassie forest. It’d be similar here. Shame it only counts trees, and not the entire make-up of a forest though. Trees can be 50% of a forest’s biomass – so the sums on what’s wasted and burnt would be much worse.
It shows that on average, every 100 tonnes of trees that are felled make only 3 tonnes of sawn wood and wood-based panels (e.g. MDF). A further 4 tonnes out of the 100 becomes domestic paper products and 23 tonnes are exported as woodchips. The remaining 70 tonnes is waste: 65 tonnes in every hundred is left as logging residues and 5 tonnes becomes processing waste that is burnt for energy or turned into mulch.
Contrary to the claims of the industry, the main ‘product’ from logging is WASTE. This is one of the reasons why state forestry agencies struggle to make a profit from a resource they don’t pay for. They only stay afloat thanks to your and my taxes propping this show up!