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Urban Wood Repurposing at Michigan State University


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Paul Swartz

Published in: Environment
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Urban Wood Repurposing at Michigan State University

  1. 1. PaulSwartz CampusArborist InfrastructurePlanningandFacilities andDepartmentofForestry
  2. 2. About Trees at MSU • 2,100 acre campus • 3,000 acres of farms south of the main campus. • Over 24,200 trees • 1,885 different taxa in the MSU tree collection. • Vast and invaluable resource for teaching, studying and conducting research.
  3. 3. Former Wood Utilization Model • Trees and branches are chipped. • Chips have been used as landscaping mulch or burned in the Power Plant as biomass. • These methods release carbon dioxide.
  4. 4. Urban Wood Municipalities and the U.S. Forest Service have teamed up in response to the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer to develop urban wood resources and markets for new products.
  5. 5. Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative Cross-functional collaborative formed to look at processes and development of comprehensive business plan for urban wood utilization on campus. Governance
  6. 6. • Develop a model recovery and repurposing supply-chain system for trees removed from MSU for the development of value added products that provide economic, environmental and social benefits to the MSU community. • Create a comprehensive campus tree management system that expands the current tree inventory, maintenance, and removal practices to include wood recovery and utilization. Move from "cradle-to-grave" to recycling-based “cradIe-to-cradIe” plan. • Improve waste reduction and conserve resources. In-line with highest and best use model of solid waste management promoted by MSU Sustainability. • Improve the University's total capacity for carbon sequestration through long term use of solid wood products. Mission Objectives
  7. 7. Michigan State University Shadows Collection ALMA MATER MSU, we love thy shadows O'er ivy covered halls; Beneath the pines we'll gather
  8. 8. Objectives • Create a unique educational program based in the Department of Forestry providing undergraduate and graduate training; real-world experience in urban wood processing, repurposing and marketing. • Increase community awareness of our urban forest resource. • Develop a self-supporting income stream which will return profits generated from the sale of wood items to support educational programing and the planting of more trees on campus.
  9. 9. Lumber • Average of 300 trees are removed per year. • 17,000 bdft have been processed in the past year. • 16,000 approximate bdft are currently available in log form. • 8,000 bdft of kiln dried lumber is available for products. • 2,600 bdft of lumber has been shipped to local producers to date.
  10. 10. Kiln • 10,000 bdft 45 year old steam-operated kiln. • Operated by students under guidance of Dan Brown, Wood Recovery Coordinator.
  11. 11. Products Currently working with 7 Michigan producers.
  12. 12. Budget Start-Up Costs • Initial Milling and Drying = $35,000 • Manufacturing = $35,000 • Project Management = $15,000 Committed Funds for Year One • Surplus Store & Recycling = $70,000 (Production) • Sustainability = $50,000 (Forestry Kiln Repair and Purchase of Portable Mill) • Forestry = $50,000 (Project Management)
  13. 13. Year One and Two Outcomes • Break-even on initial investments by Forestry and Surplus Store & Recycling. • Reduce production costs. Year Three Outcomes • Return of net revenue to Landscape Services for tree maintenance and planting. • Develop education model and scholarships.