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Turning Waste Wood Into Profit

May 20, 2004

Turning Waste Wood Into Profit

Tokoroa Company Central Wood Recyclers (CWR) has developed a waste wood recovery business that reduces the impact of commercial forestry on the environment and provides an alternative fuel for industrial use.

CWR clear and process waste wood from forest clear-fell sites for Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper in Tokoroa. With up to 4% of felled wood being left in and around skid sites, the potential for environmental damage from slips, fires and leaching into the water table is high. The excess wood is also a resource that up until now has been left behind.

CWR use a revolutionary new product called The Ripper, developed by Screening & Crushing Systems Ltd (SCS) Christchurch, to process the waste wood on site. CWR General Manager Noel Richmond says The Ripper is a unique solid waste wood shredder/grinder and screening plant in one compact unit.

“The machine reduces wood waste to hog fuel (boiler fuel), an energy resource which is economically and environmentally more beneficial than burning coal and oil. The machine is capable of screening, shredding and grinding many materials other machines cannot handle into a size and form that is easy to transport. It requires approximately half the horse power of conventional plants for the same or more output, and costs half to two thirds less to operate than conventional grinding machines.”

The processed wood is trucked to Carter Holt’s Kinleith Mill where it is used as an economical alternative fuel.

Carter Holt’s Trevor Gerken says the Hog fuel is burned in the company’s CoGen boiler, which produces steam for use in the mill. An embedded steam turbine also produces electricity for the plant.

“We have been trialing the Hog fuel for about a year,” he said. “The trial has demonstrated the quality of the product and with further refinements to the overall process, we are confident this will prove to be an economic alternative to other fuels.”

CWR has processed 50,000 tonnes of waste wood since starting its operation a year ago. Noel Richmond says this figure could easily double as the cost effective advantages of Hog fuel become more widely appreciated.

SCS Managing Director, Brian Court, likens the Ripper to a ‘giant, very robust, kitchen whiz, with its swale cutting pattern able to handle large volumes of material.

“The sky is the limit in terms of what this machine might be able to do,” says Court. “There is nothing else like it available on the market, in New Zealand or overseas”.

The Ripper was primarily designed as a wood grinder, but is taking the recycling industry by storm with its ability to process such items as tyres, carpet and plastics. Also in development is technology that will give it the ability to grind whiteware and asphalt.

The Ripper has been available in Australia for about a year and already demand is high, and SCS has a majority market share. Further R&D is being carried out this year and an increase in local jobs is expected as the Ripper is exported worldwide.


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