VIDEO: Tapping into the big business opportunities of urban wood waste

The Hustle recently posted this video exploring the financial opportunities of converting urban wood waste into high-value lumber and wood products.

According to the producers, every year the U.S. loses about 36 million trees growing in cities to disease, pollution, and urbanization. These felled trees represent an estimated 46 million tons of urban wood that could be used to generate annual revenue of $786 million.

Small businesses and communities throughout the nation are participating in the urban wood economy, generating profits from repurposing urban wood that would otherwise have gone to the landfill.

the urban wood economy
Baltimore custom woodworker Andy Karnes is a huge proponent of using urban wood for his projects.

The majority of the video spotlights Camp Small, a 5-acre urban wood collection facility in Baltimore. Camp Small is creating a market for local wood by salvaging dead trees and partnering with local businesses to make benches, play spaces, and furniture pieces for the community. Andy Karnes, owner of Area Fabrication, one of Camp Small’s customers is highlighted in the video. Noting that he liked the “uniqueness” of the material, the custom furniture maker says, “I would love to work exclusively with just urban wood.”  

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Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.