Katahdin has always made it a priority to reduce waste and use as much of the Northern White Cedar logs that arrive in their just-cut state. Because of our strict grading, not every cedar log we purchase is made into wall stock. So, we’ve devised alternative uses for just about every bit of the log that crosses our doorstep.
As the logs arrive and are processed, the first step is to cut the trees into saw log lengths. Then the tops go to the post and rail mill where we strip the bark from the tree. This bark is collected and processed by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company just 42 miles away for bark mulch to use in landscaping.
The logs are then graded and sorted: one stack will be processed into log stock, while the rest will be milled into other components. Because of the way Northern White Cedar develops – wide at the base of the tree, narrowing to a point – some portion of each log is used for these complimentary products: decking, railings, fencing, window boxes, planters, as well as other decorative and useful applications.
Sawdust and wood waste.
One big by-product from our milling is sawdust and bits of scrap wood that are too small to be useful. This waste is also put to use in our Biomass Boiler, where it undergoes highly efficient combustion and the resulting steam is used to heat our mill buildings. We’ve been able to reduce our heating fuel consumption by about 90% by using this recycling system.