End of Life
In the end of life phase Accoya® has no limits. Accoya® is a non toxic product and therefore fully biodegradable.
As a result, Accoya can be handled in the same manner as untreated wood at the end of its life (as stated in the company’s KOMO product certificate and further evidenced by SHR – Wood Research Foundation Netherlands), therefore fits perfectly in the Cradle to Cradle design philosophy for which it has been awarded the Gold certification as one of few products worldwide.
Accsys recommends that users of Accoya® wood adopt the “Ladder of Lansink” recycling strategy in the end of life phase. This model largely follows the guidelines of the Cradle to Cradle philosophy to close biological and technological cycles as much as possible and re-use materials in applications with the same or even higher added value (up-cycling). The model consists of the following possible waste management scenarios in which prevention is the preferred option and dumping the least:
- Prevention – avoid waste
- Prevention – develop products that create no harmful waste (e.g. 100% biodegradable)
- Useful application through product re-use
- Useful application through material re-use
- Useful application through energy production (incineration)
- Remove: burn
- Remove: dumping / composting
For more efficient use of limited resources, and optimum carbon sequestration effect, Accsys recommends that in the end of life phase Accoya is re-used in applications with the same or even higher added value (up-cycling). It is particularly encouraged to design products / projects with ease of disassembly and re-use as a consideration. Furthermore, as acetylated MDF (Tricoya), contrary to regular MDF, may be perceived as a premium material, the reuse of Accoya to manufacture Tricoya fits well in this scheme as well as further increasing the carbon sink effect.
If upcycling is not possible, Accoya® wood may be used for energy production through incineration. As wood products are in essence stored solar energy, they can always be used for green energy production (releasing only the CO2 absorbed during growth) thus saving emissions caused by burning oil, gas or coal, including the ecosystem deterioration that use of these fossil fuels causes. The German research institute Wilhelm-Klauditz-Istitut (WKI) has confirmed that Accoya® wood may be incinerated for energy production in the same manner as untreated wood and that no additional toxic substances will be released upon incineration (unlike wood chemically impregnated with metal salts).
In the least favoured scenario of composting, Accoya® wood can be handled in the same way as untreated wood bearing in mind that this process may take longer than for untreated wood due to Accoya® wood’s high durability.