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Does the UK have Chip Drop?

 
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Does the UK have Chip Drop or a similar service? https://freewoodchips.co.uk/how-to-get-wood-chips-from-tree-surgeons/

Can one use wood chips for RMH? Would that be a good source or solution for limited wood options?
 
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I've not found a central website or anything. I just call around our local tree guys.
 
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Local woodworking shop sells bags of super dry offcuts £1.50 per bag, gives me 4 hours of burning.
 
Christine Circe
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That's what I do here at home too Michael, I'm in a small town and the arborist guys just let me and my partner fill up the truck with woodchips whenever...they are actually happy we do it!

I have never used Chip Drop but it seems to be a really cool resource, it's a shame it's not available across the pond.

I'm brainstorming solutions for people who might not have trees readily available to cut down or who have limited options when it comes to getting wood scraps  for use in Rocket Mass Heaters.  


 
Christine Circe
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Fox James wrote:Local woodworking shop sells bags of super dry offcuts £1.50 per bag, gives me 4 hours of burning.



That's pretty good!
 
Michael Cox
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Are you based in the UK?

Our situation is quite different from the US for many things. Most people are generally short of land, gardens are small and there is no reasonable prospect of growing and harvesting your own. Those who DO have land, will have this in hand already. Small gardens are not compatible with bulk chip drops.

Those who don't have land will be dependent on buying in fuel, if using wood. And when buying wood you generally have little control over what you get - firewood processors make a pretty standard product, in terms of length, split size etc...

And on top of that there is strict legislation in place about selling firewood - moisture content must be low (can't remember the figure)
 
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According to Ben Raskin in the excellent “The Woodchip Handbook”, you can sign up on Arbtalk. I had a quick look and it’s nothing like chip drop in the US, so not obvious where you sign up. I did a bit of digging and found a subforum that looks like you can add yourself and hook up informally with an arborist.
 
Christine Circe
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Michael Cox wrote:Are you based in the UK?



No I am not, I'm based in Georgia, USA. I am just curious about the heating crisis in the UK and wondering if suggesting the widespread  use of Rocket Mass Heaters would be a viable solution.
 
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Edward Norton wrote: I did a bit of digging and found a subforum that looks like you can add yourself and hook up informally with an arborist.



That subforum seems to be a good way to go, it has a couple of good resources and articles on there.
 
Michael Cox
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Christine Circe wrote:

Michael Cox wrote:Are you based in the UK?



No I am not, I'm based in Georgia, USA. I am just curious about the heating crisis in the UK and wondering if suggesting the widespread  use of Rocket Mass Heaters would be a viable solution.



Generally no. We don't generally have surplus biomass in appropriate quantities. We already have a pretty robust market in firewood sales and wood burning stoves. People already scrounge up pretty much all the available waste wood - pallets, tree trimmings etc... Any that ends up in the waste stream gets burned for energy, not landfilled. There isn't waste material lying around unused.

Most of our housing stock would be inappropriate or impossible for various reasons (terrace houses, rental property, inappropriate construction, flats etc...).

As a starting point, the total land area in the UK amounts to 60m acres. Our population is 67m, so less than 1 acre per person of land area.
The USA has 2430m acres and 329m people - so a bit more than 7 acres per person.

You can see that in comparison land area for growing fuel is MUCH more restricted here, in comparison. Especially when you factor in all the land used for other purposes. Typical plot sizes for a family house are around 1/3rd of an acre or less.
_____
There inevitably will be some people who have the land area, housing, and access to fuel that would make RMH viable for them... but those are exactly the same people who are a) resource rich, and less likely to be struggling right now  and b) likely to be already pursuing environmental solutions like RMH.

 
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Edward Norton wrote:According to Ben Raskin in the excellent “The Woodchip Handbook”, you can sign up on Arbtalk. I had a quick look and it’s nothing like chip drop in the US, so not obvious where you sign up. I did a bit of digging and found a subforum that looks like you can add yourself and hook up informally with an arborist.



I've been signed up to this for about 7 months now and I've not had anyone make contact. My parents, however, who live in a completely different part of the country, have had 2x big loads of woodchips and some huge sycamore (a kind of maple) rounds left on their driveway.

It feels to me like tree surgeons in the countryside have lots of option for their waste (and I'm sure many sell firewood on the side, if they have space to season it). I think you'd have more success in a more urban location.
 
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Around many parts, a simple call to all the area arborists and electrical companies yields woodchip resource leads.
 
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Not that I'm aware of, but one of my local allotments get deliveries of council woodchip - and sometimes more than they can use - it might be worth schmoozing your local allotments to see if you can access it. I personally organise private tree-surgeons to deliver to another allotment - some are glad to have a local place to drop. And/or chat to your council tree-surgeons about where they send their chippings.
 
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