Wood Business

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Business opportunities in the log sort yard

Aug. 24, 2018 - As the Canadian Wood recycling industry expands, one industry sector our members are providing exceptional new closed-loop diversionary wood and solid waste material recycling services in is the Canadian logging industry — log sort yard sector. 

August 24, 2018  By Jim Donaldson

As acknowledged, wood is a natural raw precious material and would hardly be considered a risk to the environment. 

Canadian logging industry, log sort yards (inland and waterway) 
The logging industry, as in the log sort yards provide many services in marketing wood and fibre by concentrating, merchandising, processing, sorting, and adding value to logs and other recyclable materials. Such operations supply forest products firms with desired raw materials, which helps improve their bottom line by reducing the number of marginal logs and waste material processed. Ultimately, sorting the logs and other waste material leads to better use of the overall available timber resources. 

Types of log yards 
There are several different types of log yards serving any number of purposes. The traditional mill/log sort yard provides receiving and log storage for feeding the mill. Concentration log yards provide a central point for accumulating logs for long-distance shipment to mill yards. Log reload yards provide transfer points between truck, rail, and barge transportation. A log sort yard takes advantage of an integrated log market and serves several objectives by sorting logs for the best available market. The log sort yard has its origin in water sorting yards where logs were sorted into rafts for shipment by water to the mill along with dry land log sort yards. 

Successful, closed-loop log sort yard recycling facilities 
Today, successful closed-loop log sort yard recycling facilities are self-sufficient and have well-established markets and a steady supply of wood and recycled, reusable log yard sorted multi-materials. 


The log sort yard concepts and new material recycling practices opportunities are open for new diversionary economic and environmental beneficial outcomes. Note: There are very few log sort yards currently that actually recover and sort the reusable buried log sort solid waste materials. 

Log sort yard: Wood and recyclable solid waste material sorts 

  • Hog (reusable => wood) 
  • Sticks (reusable => wood) 
  • Fines (dirt/clay/granulate wood, processed reusable => clean soil) 
  • Rock (reusable => small rock) 
  • Boulders (reusable => large boulders) 

Environmental challenge 

To treat the log sort yard waste water runoff (leachate) 
Ongoing 24/7… 365 days a year, a blackish water is running off the old and newer log sort yards across Canada into local creeks and environmental water tables. As acknowledged this black water runoff is classified as a leachate from the wood waste, logs, bark, stick, clay, mud, dirt, rock and miscellaneous discarded mill, equipment waste being buried in the log sort yards. Log sort yard waste water runoff — leachate — can be harmful to receiving watercourses, mainly because of the high concentration of organic substances and phosphorus that can cause eutrophication and oxygen depletion. 

Industry issue. Log sort yard water leachate runoff 
The water leachate runoff and log sort yard wood and other solid waste material has been an ongoing issue for the log sort yard owners. 

It has been found that different wood species yield different leachate compositions, with leachate from oak having the highest pollutants content, followed by leachate from pine, poplar, spruce, fir, cedar, maple and hemlock. 

This examination shows that oak has the potential to leach about 10 times the amount of polyphenols compared with other investigated species (i.e., pine, beech and maple). Furthermore, oak leachates have the lowest ratio of biological oxygen demand at seven days to chemical oxygen demand (0.12), which suggests a potential problem with the biological degradation of this leachate. It has also been shown that leachate from wood are potentially toxic to aquatic organisms. 

Log sort yard, waste water runoff leachate solutions 
A positive log sort yard, waste water runoff, leachate solution is to utilize the optimum dilution ratio(s) and incorporate the use a of environmentally sound scientific water treatment technology like the emerging bioaugmentation, microbe, aeration, granular activated carbon and biochar treatment processes to remediate waste water runoff, leachate. 

The optimum dilution ratio and using the microbe for various parameters to meet safe waste water runoff, leachate discharge will vary from location to location. As recognized each log sort yard is and will conduct the necessary governmental waste water runoff, leachate studies to determine the best practice in which to safely discharge the treated waste water runoff, leachate. 

Environmental business opportunities and solutions 

The growth of the log sort yard wood and solid waste material recycling industry 
(inland and waterway) 
We are pleased to announce we have a number of Canadian Wood Waste Recycling Business Group (CWWR) membership companies that have the industry experienced people, mobile recycling equipment, scientific technologies and resources to provide the required log sort yard wood, solid waste material and leachate recycling solutions for our industry. 

Inquire about our dynamic membership’s specialized closed-loop, environmentally sound, cost-efficient wood recycling, solid waste material and leachate recycling service. 

Jim Donaldson is the CEO of both the Canadian Waste Wood Recycling Business Group and Waste Reduction & Recycling Consultants.

Canadian office: (780) 963-7117 

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