Urban lumberjacking

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A salvaged pallet

Urban lumberjacking is a particular type of skipping (UK) or dumpster diving (US) where the focus is to salvage wood either for home construction projects or for home heating.

Deliberate encouragement by businesses[edit]

Waste disposal costs are increasing and so some businesses see the deliberate encouragement of this re-use as a means to reduce their own waste stream, and so to reduce their direct costs. The secondary benefits of being perceived as "green" may also be valued as a form of greenwashing. In the UK, Ikea stores place a wood disposal crib near their car park and encourage shoppers to help themselves. This wood is a mixture of packaging, damaged furniture parts, and display shopfitting. As it is largely painted particle board, it's not appropriate for firewood or for external construction, but is still a popular source for indoor projects.

Carbon implications[edit]

Urban lumberjacking reduces the amount of carbon that would have been released into atmosphere compared to the amount that would have been released should it not have been performed.

Pallet fully disassembled

This reduction is achieved in two different ways:

  • Removing the wood from a skip reduces the amount of diesel burnt that would have been used transporting it to a landfill. This is only true however if the wood is taken from the site in a more efficient manner than a diesel truck. For instance multiple gas powered vehicles removing the same load actually produces more carbon.
Salvaged wood ready for use as fuel

See also[edit]

guided tour test