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Wood Recyling Guide

It can be difficult to know what to do with your unwanted wood, but refrain from setting it alight or throwing it in a general bin to be sent to landfill. Instead, our team of professionals, here at Woodford Recycling, can recycle it for you. But which types of wood can be recycled and what are they ultimately used for? Our quick guide can help to answer those questions.

Which types of wood can be recycled?


Softwood is sourced from coniferous trees. Often, this type of wood is cheaper and less dense than hardwood.


Softwood can be used for different types of packaging, such as pallets, crates and reels.


Hardwood is sourced from broadleaved trees. Often, this type of wood is darker in colour than softwood, as well as being more dense, durable and decorative in comparison to softwood.


This is typically used in expensive furniture and as a veneer on inexpensive materials, including MDF or chipboard.


Blockboard consists of a core of softwood blocks which are laid side by side and sandwiched between hardwood veneers. This is then bonded under extremely high pressure.


Although this material is now less common than chipboard, it can still be used in kitchen applications or pieces of furniture.


Plywood is made by bonding together several thin sheets of material to create a strong yet flexible product.


Plywood has many uses, depending on the wood that is incorporated in the different layers and within the bonding agent. It can be used in DIY jobs and concrete shuttering.


Chipboard panels consist of wood particles that have been bonded together with an adhesive under immense heat and pressure to form a strong, rigid board with a smooth surface, although the wood chips are still visible.


Chipboard can be used in construction, being suitable for flooring or subflooring in domestic applications.

Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)

MDF panels consist of a mixture of wood fibres that have been glued together under both pressure and heat. This type of wood differs from chipboard in that the wood chips aren’t visible.


MDF is often used for doors and drawer fronts. It can also be painted or coated in plastic for decorative DIY uses.


Hardboard is a painted or thin brown panel, where the wood chips cannot be seen.


This can be used in cheaper furniture, forming a drawer bottom or wardrobe backs.

What is C Grade recycled wood?

Chipboard Grade C Wood Recycling

This consists of reclaimed waste wood from discarded wooden items, such as furniture, fixtures and fittings. MDF and chipboard is an example of C Grade wood. C Grade wood will often contain other materials and substances, including glue, varnishes and other coatings. These non-wood articles are carefully removed during the recycling process. C Grade wood can be used as biomass fuel for combined heat and power plants, helping it to produce hot water and electricity for the masses.

What can recycled wood be used for?

Recycled wood can be used for a variety of different things. From fuel and animal bedding to mulches and paths, recycled wood can be incredibly useful. It makes for a more sustainable solution than simply disposing of unwanted wood through burning or sending to landfill. Recycled wood, such as wood chip, can have a variety of uses, including:

  • Garden/forest paths – wood chip is ideal for this, as it doesn’t have to be especially clean, or contain preservative-treated wood.
  • Horse arenas – fine wood shavings or wood chip provides the perfect terrain for galloping horses. Again, this material doesn’t have to be clean, meaning it will also last longer. It must be free from metal, glass or grit.
  • Mulches – again, wood chip is ideal for use as landscaping mulch. It can suppress weeds and help the soil retain its moisture. Due to its dry conditions, it doesn’t rot as quickly as bark mulch, for example.
  • Compost – plant matter contains mostly nitrogen, however wood is primarily carbon. Adding wood chip to your compost heap improves the carbon/nitrogen balance, which is essential for good compost.
  • Animal bedding – this can range from low grade (coarse wood chip for cattle bedding) to high quality, dust-free wood chip which is most suitable for the bedding of expensive racehorses. Bedding should primarily be made of clean softwood chips and be absent of sheet materials or painted timber.

Here at Woodford Recycling, we offer a wide range of waste management solutions, along with a reliable skip hire service, allowing you to dispose of your unwanted wood. We aim to recycle at least 85% of the waste we collect, ensuring that as little as possible is sent to landfill. We pride ourselves on the comprehensive service we provide, giving us the capability to deal with anything from household waste to hazardous waste disposal, including asbestos and liquid waste. For more information about the services we provide, get in touch with us today – we operate throughout Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Stamford and more.


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