Wood residue management

On this page, you will find information on how to properly store and use wood residue, as well as how to access regulatory information for its storage and use.

Wood residue is a term used for woody products such as hog fuel, sawdust, woodchips, etc., but does not include things such as demolition waste and stumps. It is important that wood residue be stored and used in a manner that minimizes leachate production as it is toxic to aquatic life.

Leachate is generated by water moving through the wood residue and is characterized by a dark colour, “oily” sheen, and a foul odour. Varying amounts of leachate are produced in almost all situations where wood residues are used. Areas of the province that are defined as high precipitation areas (receive at least 600 mm of precipitation from October 1 to April 30) need to cover wood residue piles from October 1 to April 1 to minimize leachate generation. Surface runoff from wood residue can carry leachate to adjacent fish-bearing streams or to ditch water that enters fish-bearing watercourses; both scenarios have the potential to kill aquatic life.

Storage and use

Wood residue can be stored in the field temporarily or in a permanent storage structure. Different methods of storage have different requirements and considerations that need to be accounted for. The factsheet below provides information on how to store wood residue in accordance with the Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM Code).

For more regulatory information on storage and use of wood residue, click on the link below.