ECONOMY

Wood recycling saves energy

Greece needs to thrash out a strategy for waste management and recycling in line with EU directives, environmentalists told a European conference on ‘Recoverable Wood Management: Recycling -Bioenergy,» organized by the National Farm Research Foundation (ETHIAGE) in Thessaloniki. About 1.1 tons of wood residue ends in Greek landfills annually, when the rest of Europe produces about 180 million tons of wood biomass and recovers about 80 million tons of wood residue for industrial uses, forestry engineer Christos Gallis said. It is estimated that the annually recovered wood waste in the European Union has an energy content equivalent of 750-1,350 PJ, when one PJ equals 278,000 MWh. Recycling all recovered quantities can reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 75-135 million tons. The philosophy of modern waste management is based on two principles: sustainable recovery of materials and recovery of renewable energy, said Gallis. Mobile operator Vodafone said it gathered 33 tons of paper for recycling – saving about 400 trees from being felled – and reused and recycled about 95 tons of lead batteries during a recycling program between April 2003 and March 2004. The program also initiated the recycling of 14,270 mobile phones, batteries and accessories, 145 tons of electrical and electronic telecommunications equipment, the dispatch of about 14 tons of old computers to a specialized firm abroad for best environmental disposal, and the recycling of 1,200 toner cartridges.