Kieran Cooke   

  I recently redecorated the kitchen and threw out old cabinets.

 I took them to a local dump and put them in the wood skip:

 are they recycled or just dumped in the ground?

While it would be satisfying to imagine your discarded kitchen goods recycled into other products, the sad truth is there is a better than evens chance they will end up in landfill.Recycling rates for wood and a wide range of other goods and products have improved in recent years. In the mid 1990s, less than 2 per cent of discarded wood a year was recycled. That figure is now between 40 and 50 per cent  good progress but it still means that every 12 months the equivalent of several forests are chucked into holes in the ground.The UK imports about two thirds of its wood used in building, paper and other industries, most of its  softwoods coming from Scandinavia and Russia. Though wood is biodegradable and might not create as many long-term landfill problems as other manufactured products, it creates methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide, as it gently rots away.Each year anything between five and ten million tonnes of wood is thrown away in the UK  no one is entirely sure of the volume. The bulk of the wood that is recycled goes to making panel boards for the building trade. Recycled wood is also used for garden and park mulches and increasingly, is shredded to make bedding for cattle, horses and poultry.Kitchen cabinets are regarded as the low-grade end of the used-wood market. Most are made from woodchip and are bound by glue and other substances, all of which have to be filtered out when recycled. Because of present economic conditions, there is a surplus of used wood on the market. But the great hope for the future are wood-fuelled biomass power plants: wood surpluses could be burned as more of these facilities come on stream. Wood recycling groups, operating in virtually every city and county, are an excellent drop off and buying point for used-wood products. Find out where your local one is at the charity Furniture Re-Use throw away relatively little wood, the building industry is responsible for the bulk of it. Take your cabinets along to the nearest community wood centre and try swapping them for some building industry scaffolding boards, ideal as liners for raised vegetable beds?So much better than consigning your old kitchen to a hole in the ground