Cambium Carbon, with support from The Nature Conservancy and the Arbor Day Foundation, released its Reforestation Hub assessment reports for three pilot cities — New York City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Eugene, Oregon — that took part in the program.
The Reforestation Hub model seeks to identify opportunities for cities to establish a circular economy for urban forestry work, where trees removed by government and private operators are recycled into higher-value products to generate new funds for tree planting in cities. By providing the three participating cities with a localized road map to follow, many more urban trees can be processed for maximum benefit across their life cycle. Most notably, the report’s findings focus on how cities can leverage urban wood waste as a means of encouraging reinvestment in new tree planting and maintenance.
“Cambium Carbon’s Reforestation Hub looks at the individual city and local data to shape how wood can be reused and ultimately support new local plantings where they are needed most,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “This approach would not only reduce wood waste, but create new jobs along the way — it’s a win for the environment and the local economy.”
The project synthesis listed key findings from city-specific assessments in New York City, Pittsburgh and Eugene. Additionally, the Reforestation Hub Assessment findings present several opportunities for future cities to consider when planning their own Reforestation Hub protocols:
Measure for management
Data collection regarding wood waste generation is often scattered across city departments and work orders, and rarely unified in a central record. Understanding the scale and composition of the local wood waste stream is critical to sizing infrastructure investment and creating a management program that puts that material to its highest and best secondary use.
Centralize wood waste collection and processing infrastructure
By designating a central log yard to collect tree debris from multiple sources, shared processing infrastructure — such as milling equipment, forklifts, or operating crews — can be leveraged to upcycle the maximum volume of material, thereby increasing return on investment.
Activate the private sector
Private sector partners can help implement an urban wood economy. City government is positioned to be a central connector in aggregating material from individual sources, while partnerships are essential in connecting material to the market.
Visit Cambium Carbon’s Reforestation Hub website to learn more.