By: David Meehan | Published: 10 January 2018, 14:38:58The US Forest Service has set a target of 20 per cent of US timber harvested in 2018 being recycled by 2020, with the agency expecting to reach that goal in 2020.
In a report published today, the US Forest System Operator (USFSO) said the goal would lead to an additional 7.4 million tonnes of US forest products being recycled in 2020 compared to 2016.USFSOs forestry management team said the USFSO had committed to reducing waste by 80 per cent by 2020 compared with 2016.
This year’s targets were a reflection of the agency’s commitment to reducing US Forest Products waste, the report said.
“The agency has already begun the process of implementing a new program to reduce waste in the forests,” the US FSO said in a statement.
“This program, called the Sustainable Forest Stewardship Initiative (SFSI), is being implemented to help ensure USFSOs forests are sustainably managed and to reduce the use of non-recyclable materials such as paper and cardboard.”
The goal of 2020 is to reach a target that would help the US forest industry meet its 2025 target of 40 per cent recycled by 2025.
The target is an important milestone, as USFSoes annual budget is about $20 billion, and there is currently no clear timeline for meeting that target.US Forest Products said its goal was based on its analysis of current trends and data from USFS.
“For the 2020 fiscal year, USFSs goal is to reduce our waste by 85 per cent compared to the previous fiscal year,” USFSP said.
It said its goals for the next two years are to reduce its waste by 95 per cent and reduce its non-renewable waste by 15 per cent.US FSO also said the agency was committed to “making the most of our remaining timber” to reduce environmental impact and improve the quality of life of USFS customers.
“In 2018, US Forest Services harvested a record high total of nearly 9 million tonnes,” US FSOs Forest Product Manager Andrew Foskett said.
“That represented more than 40 per-cent of our total annual harvest.”
He said USFS had also made “significant strides” in its efforts to increase the use and sustainability of USF products.
“We are increasing our use of recycled wood, and the quality and sustainability is improving,” Mr Fosl said.
The USFS is working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Geological Survey (USGS) to implement a new forest product recycling plan that will replace the current recycling plan.”USFS is committed to increasing the number of products that we use in the timber sector by 50 per cent over the next five years, and is working closely with USGS to support the process,” Mr Flosket said.US Forestry Products has an estimated turnover of $1.3 billion annually, with nearly two thirds of that coming from US federal agencies.USForest Products products are used in everything from construction materials to construction scaffolding, lumber and plywood, and are used by a number of businesses including Walmart, Walmart Stores, and General Mills.