Converting Sawmill Waste Stream Material into Higher Value Solid Wood Products Using a "Total Solution Recovery and Value-Adding Strategy"
Small Business Information
150 Summer Street, Lewiston, ME, 04240
AbstractNON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The Sawmill industry is facing a number of serious problems that are undermining its stability as a key industry in many rural areas of the United States. The top ten problems facing the industry are: (1) A declining access to timberlands in some areas, (2) Higher saw log costs, (3) Lower saw log quality, (4) Greater residue disposal problems, (5) Fluctuating lumber pricing, (6) Increasing pressure to operate in a less environmentally harmful manner, (7) Encroaching global competition, (8) Competition from substitute materials, (9) Growing demand for environmentally responsible wood products, and (10) Growing reputation of being an environmentally unfriendly industry. Since most sawmills are located in rural communities, many current and future jobs, along with viable local economies will decline if local sawmills continue to reduce their labor force or close. Since August 2001 over 24 sawmills and secondary wood products companies have closed in Maine and nationally the number is much higher. This project will assist the forest products industry to develop concrete solutions which will help make sawmills more efficient by maximizing their raw material resources. This will be accomplished by establishing a Recovery and Value-Adding (RVA) processing facility at an existing sawmill to demonstrate the technical requirements, and economic viability for establishing RVA processing centers for individual companies and satellite RVA facilities on a regional basis for clusters of companies and by marketing the value-added products manufactured at the RVA facilities.
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