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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Protecting the environment, cutting waste disposal costs and saving landfill space are the focus of a University of Tennessee conference here Oct. 13-14.

 “Producing and Using Wood Waste: Challenges and Opportunities” will be held at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair. UT’s Center for Industrial Services and Forest Products Center and the Forest Products Society Madison, Wisc., are co-sponsors.

 “This conference is an opportunity for manufacturers that produce sawdust, scrap cuts and other wood residue to discuss the issue and learn ways to process wood waste into value-added products,” said Dr. Paul Winistorfer of UT’s Forest Products Center.

 Dr. James Bowyer, head of the University of Minnesota’s Forest Products Management Development Institute, will give the keynote address on trends in the wood products industry.

 Other scheduled speakers include industrial entrepreneurs who recycle wood waste for concrete-type building mixes, mulches, fuel and other uses.

 Dr. Richard Buggeln of the Center for Industrial Services said large wood finishers and furniture makers nationwide paid up to $8,000 per month in 1996 to dispose of wood waste in landfills.

 “Many of these costs can be reduced if wood waste becomes a marketable product,” Buggeln said. “Tennessee is a top exporter of hardwood products and has many sawmills, furniture makers and other forest products industries. That puts us in a unique position to take the lead on alternative uses for wood waste.”

 The conference is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

 Registration information is available from Buggeln at (423)974-3018.