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Wood residues in the Moratuwa Woodworking Industry cluster of Sri Lanka: Potential for sector synergies and value-added products

Himandi, S., Perera, P., Amarasekera, H., Rupasinghe, R. and Vlosky, R.P. (2021) Wood residues in the Moratuwa Woodworking Industry cluster of Sri Lanka: Potential for sector synergies and value-added products. Forest Products Journal, 71 (4). pp. 379-390.

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The Moratuwa Woodworking Industry Cluster (MWIC) is a geographically concentrated cluster of over 1,600 small-to-medium scale wood-based manufacturing and retail facilities in Sri Lanka. Firms include furniture manufacturers, carpentry shops, sawmills, and integrated sawmills. The concept of industrial symbiosis explores the synergies between industrial facilities to exchange energy, water, by-products, and waste to achieve a higher efficiency in resource utilization. This research was undertaken to address the lack of quantitative information on wood residues generated within the MWIC. A survey of 180 primary and secondary wood product manufacturers was undertaken to quantify MWIC firm by-product production and consumption of wood residues to establish a baseline for possible end use and waste synergies. The total population of enterprises generating wood waste is 730; retail facilities are not included. Sawmills produce approximately 66% of the 6,490 MT of MWIC's monthly wood residue generation, with the balance produced by carpentry and integrated enterprises. Teak (Tectona grandis) and mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) are the dominant species used in the MWIC, accounting for most of the wood waste. Three main types of wood waste were identified in the survey: sawdust (76.5%), boards with significant wane (16.5%) unusable for further products, and offcuts (6.9%). Only 55% of the wood waste generated in MWIC is currently used; the remaining 45% is taken to landfills or disposed of in other ways, such as discarded in waterways or other nonapproved locations. Improved wood waste sorting by type at the mill level and aggregated wood waste within the MWIC was determined to increase the usability of wood waste as potential inputs in other wood manufacturing sectors in the MWIC.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Forest Products Research Society
Copyright: © 2021 Forest Products Society
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