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Pellet industry could triple with access to slash piles

The wood pellet industry is trying to get a hold of slash piles before they’re burned.

Executive Director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Gordon Murray, says about 5 million tons of slash piles were burned last year, half of which could’ve been used for pellets.

“Right now in the province, we’re only producing a little over 1.5 million tons of wood pellets. If we could use all of that (slash pile) material that’s being burned, we could grow our industry three times,” he says.

Reducing slash piles burning also means a cleaner BC.

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Murray says these pellets are neutral-carbon and emissions can be recaptured in nature.

“You’re taking something that would’ve otherwise been burned in uncontrolled circumstances now you’re turning it into energy and the particulate matter, there is almost no emission of particulates at all.”

According to the BC’s greenhouse gas inventory, slash piles made up 13 per cent of all emissions in 2012.

Gordon is negotiating with the provincial government and primary manufacturers. He says talks have been slow but attitudes are beginning to change.

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