Waste wood

Waste wood is a multifaceted resource. It is waste and biomass at the same time. Certain types of wood are recyclable and are used in the wood-based panel industry, others are used in biomass power plants and are a renewable energy source, a pillar of the energy revolution. The prerequisite for high-quality recycling is high-quality processing.

he Waste Wood Ordinance distinguishes between four waste wood categories:

Category A I
Waste wood left in its natural state or merely mechanically processed, which, when used, is not more than insignificantly contaminated with foreign matter.

Category A II
Glued, painted, varnished or otherwise treated waste wood without halogen-organic compounds in the coating (e.g. PVC) and without wood preservatives.

Category A III
Waste wood with organohalogen compounds in the coating and without wood preservatives

Category A VI
Waste wood treated with wood preservatives, such as railway sleepers, pylons, hop poles, and other waste wood which cannot be assigned to waste wood categories AI, AII or AIII due to its pollutant load, with the exception of PCB waste wood.

Special case: PCB waste wood
Waste PCB wood is subject to the PCB/PCT Regulation. PCB stands for polychlorinated biphenyls. These are organic chlorine compounds used in construction. The construction chemical was banned worldwide by the Stockholm Convention in 2001.

Until it was banned, PCBs were used in many different ways, some in very high concentrations. It was used as a plasticizer (paints and plastics), in joint sealing compounds (expansion joints in concrete construction, connection joints for doors and windows), as an insulating agent (insulating and soundproofing panels), but also as a flame retardant (paints and varnishes) or as an adhesive (floors).

PCBs can therefore also be found in different concentrations in wood waste.
There is an upper limit of 5 mg/kg DM for the recycling of waste wood.

From a concentration of 50 mg/kg PCB in waste wood, the wood waste must be disposed of in special incineration plants. The Waste Wood Ordinance no longer applies here, but the PCB/PCT Waste Ordinance.


If you would like to find out more about waste wood recycling in Germany / EU, the BAV waste wood guide gives you a detailed overview. You can purchase this from us at a price of 30 euros.

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