Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Timber waste

Recycling timber utility poles and bridges

Recycling of timber taken from demolished bridges and redundant power poles is now more viable than disposing of this timber in landfill or using it as fuel. The practice of reusing timber is becoming more important as hardwood timber supplies are reducing.

Protocols for Recycling Redundant Utility Poles and Bridge Timbers (PDF1.1MB) provides guidance for infrastructure managers, engineers, waste management contractors and timber recyclers to responsibly recycle timber from demolished wooden bridges and redundant timber power poles in NSW.

The protocols:

  • encourage maximum reuse and recycling of timbers
  • raise awareness of the high quality of products produced from utility poles and bridge timbers
  • guide infrastructure managers when providing timber to timber recyclers
  • assist in clarifying whether timber should be regarded as waste
  • identify appropriate recycling and disposal options
  • improve awareness of possible regulatory requirements.

The case study (PDF 603KB) shows the application of the Protocols by Integral Energy, a major NSW electricity distribution network manager and retailer. Integral Energy partnered with Australian Architectural Hardwoods in Kempsey to recycle the wooden poles.

Recycled wood pallets for poultry bedding

The EPA in conjunction with the Timber Development Association (NSW) has developed a guideline and specification for the use of recycled wood pallets as poultry bedding. Copies of the guideline and specification as well as other resources, such as case studies, are available on the National Timber Product Stewardship Group website.

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Page last updated: 16 March 2017