Bridging the gap between research and application -- business plan spreadsheets are helping wood recovery efforts
Wood pallets break or end up in the wrong places where they are no longer useful. They become a waste problem that needs to be dealt with. Many find their way to recovery and repair facilities, but many don’t and most likely end up in landfills. Our charge is to reduce landfilling of unwanted and discarded wood pallets and to push them into highest value uses. To help answer some of the economic questions and provide information for business plans, the Center for Forest Products Marketing and Management and the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station unit, both at Virginia Tech, have developed a computer spreadsheet model. The model focuses on pallet recovery and reuse options for the pallets prior to landfilling or in landfill recovery areas. We report on pallet recovery options and resent a sample spreadsheet business plan to determine the economic potential for recovering pallet material at landfills. Lastly, we describe some current uses of the spreadsheet models helping us bridge the gap between research and application.
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