Department of Agriculture

Burning wood to save money and the environment.

In APHIS, there are several large programs that require destroying large quantities of wood to eliminate pest risks, like emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle. I have two ideas:

 

1) Install wood-burning heaters at the APHIS facilities. Infested wood must be destroyed, at least this way we can offset some of the environmental impact and lower heating bills by using it as fuel.

 

We could also use the burning wood to heat-treat other wood slated for destruction and then donate the heat-treated wood as firewood to camp grounds to encourage campers not to move firewood.

 

2) Contract to donate it to coal-burning power plants. I would suggest selling it, but then the agency would profit off of the destruction of firewood and that could lead to all kinds of trouble (public perception, etc.). If we donate it, we could add a requirement that the company pick it up, which would lower disposal costs.

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Idea No. 977