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Ilford & Romford Community Wood scheme success

VolkerFitzpatrick’s Ilford and Romford project teams have been working with Community Wood Recycling, to provide an environmentally friendly waste timber collection service, for their Atlanta Boulevard site.

Since starting work with Community Wood Recycling in 2019,  50 tonnes of wood has already been saved from the waste stream on both projects.

Across both station sites, waste wood is collected and sorted, so that it can be managed in the most environmentally beneficial way. Reusable materials are sold to people in the community for their own projects, or made into furniture and other products. Non reusable wood is then sent for recycling by way of chipping.

The wood is collected from site by Community Wood Recycling, who is a member of, Riverside Timber Recycling Project. This Loughton-based organisation works in partnership with a local group – ACE – which is part of Voluntary Action Epping Forest, and offers a workspace, materials and guidance for their woodworking project. This provides people with learning disabilities the opportunity to upcycle furniture and make items for sale, out of the reclaimed wood timber.

Sue Mortimer of Riverside Timber Recycling explains: "Working with wood is enjoyable and builds companionship and collaboration. There is pride in the finished article, and in seeing it sold."

The weekly offcuts, and pallet material, collected from the Atlanta Boulevard site, has allowed the ACE volunteers to learn new skills, gain confidence and independence, as well as expand their creative knowledge, as they have made wooden products, such as bee boxes, bird houses, planters and more. These were then sold at the fundraising event held by ACE in August.

Riverside Timber Recycling Project also provides volunteering and training opportunities to a wide range of people in the local community, focussing on those facing challenges and disadvantages in their lives.

Sue Mortimer adds: "By using Community Wood Recycling to dispose of their wood waste in the London area, VolkerFitzpatrick has enabled our project to make a significant difference to both our local environment and our local community volunteers and helpers. The labour force at our workshop and showroom includes both young and older volunteers, from differing backgrounds and abilities, who all actively contribute to the overall success of our project. Without the wood collections from companies like VolkerFitzpatrick, we wouldn't have the capabilities or facilities to offer training opportunities to these people at our social enterprise."

Community Wood Recycling managing director, Richard Mehmed, adds:

"By working with Community Wood Recycling, VolkerFitzpatrick is creating real social value and helping to build a circular economy. We are very grateful for this support."

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