TALLINN - In Estonia, much wood waste is generated that is either pure wood or wood that has been only slightly processed, and now conditions have been created by an order of the minister of the environment facilitating the use of this waste for district heating plants.
"We're resolving a practical problem because we need wood chips in Estonia to heat our homes and a lot of natural wood is used to produce it. From now on, district heating plants will be able to use chips made from wood waste more easily," Minister of the Environment Madis Kallas said. "For example, wood that is obtained from demolishing old houses but also old pallets, planks and tiles. That way, more of the material needed for the production of wood chips remains in the forest."
One reasonable way to utilize wood waste is to use it for heating, which has thus far been very strictly regulated, preventing district heating plants from using the material. The prerequisite for the use of wood waste as heating material is that the material must be guaranteed not to contain any hazardous substances or pollutants. The producer of wood chips from wood waste is obligated to meet the requirements both when selling the material as well as giving it away for free.
Deputy secretary general of the Ministry of the Environment Kaupo Heinma said that looking forward, it is important that other uses be found for wood waste that better take into account the principles of circular economy.
"Until wood waste is used for making new products in large volumes, using it as a source of energy is better than not using it at all," Heinma noted.