Better firewood results in Rotorua
Thursday, 12 May 2011 3:00 p.m.
A random check on Rotorua firewood sellers to find out if their wood was suitable for burning has produced better results compared with last winter.
A 'mystery shopper' for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council purchased wood only if the seller said it was dry, and suitable for burning straight away. The wood was tested for moisture content in an independent laboratory to see if it met the Wood Fuel Classification Guideline for seasoned wood, which is 15-25 percent moisture.
Last winter the majority of firewood tested had a moisture content of more than 30 percent, making it unsuitable for burning. This year eight wood sellers were tested, and with the exception of one supplier, all the wood tested at less than 30 percent.
Regional Council Sustainable Development Manager Kataraina Maki said almost every wood seller tested last year had improved their test result.
"It is encouraging to know that Rotorua residents can buy dry wood from their Rotorua wood sellers. This is a good example of wood sellers and the Regional Council working together to raise the benchmark," Ms Maki said.
"Burning dry wood will make your home warmer, prevent pollution and keep you and your family - and Rotorua - healthier."
Rotorua's Hot Swap loan scheme has so far removed 50 open fires and 318 old wood burners from urban homes, removing about three tonnes of small particulates from the air. The interest-free loans provide funds for homeowners in Rotorua's 'airshed' to upgrade old word burners to clean heat appliances.
Rotorua has the worst winter air quality in the North Island, mainly caused by home heating. Clean heat appliances use fuel more efficiently and have little or no emissions. Nearly half of Rotorua homes use solid fuel burners as their main source of heating.
For helpful firewood tips, go to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's website www.boprc.govt.nz/media/29020/FactSheet-100722-HotTipsforCleanWoodBurning.pdf