Wood dust: RW Joinery - case study

Cost benefits in making health related improvements.

The problem

Wood dust is one of a number of hazardous substances found in joineries. Breathing in wood dust can cause asthma. RW provide dust extraction (also known as local exhaust ventilation or LEV) to protect workers from exposure. However, the waste dust and shavings collected was costing the company over £5,000 per year to send to landfill.

The solution

When their gas heating system broke down the company decided to invest in an innovative approach, they extended the LEV system so dust and shavings were extracted from all machines and directly fed into a wood burning system. The waste products were then used as fuel to heat the workroom.


The company has reduced the need to have waste removed to expensive landfill. The waste is used to heat their factory which has saved £8,000 each year in reduced fuel and landfill costs.

They have also eliminated one of their dustier processes, waste handling, as the waste is extracted automatically at source and fed to the burner. The improvement to the LEV system has reduced the levels of dust in the workplace.

The carbon footprint of the company has improved as they no longer send their waste to landfill which has enhanced their reputation with customers.


  • Effective use of LEV can produce a cleaner, healthier environment to work in and can lead to significant cost benefits.
  • LEV can be used to efficiently recycle wood dust; recycling waste can help reduce overheads.

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Updated 2021-01-15