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Giving scrap wood a new purpose


Are you one of those people who walks past skips and peers in, thinking “I can’t believe they’re chucking that out!” or even “If I could just get my hands on that I could make something else out of it…”?  If so, you’re not alone.

Transitioners will be amongst the first to say we have to start re-thinking what we commonly know as waste and consider it to be resource with a future use.  Which is why we were so pleased to hear about the wood-recycling social enterprises springing up round here.  They collect waste wood from local businesses, sort it, re-use it and sell it on where it has future potential.  They also provide employment and education opportunities, making products from the wood they collect.

I paid a visit to Cambridge Wood Works and came home with some scrap planks which are now taking pride of place as a new raised bed in my garden.  They may not last forever, but they’re much more robust than the raised bed kits you can buy in a certain large orange DIY store and they were a fraction of the price.  (£7.20… SEVEN POUNDS TWENTY PENCE.  Yes, I know.)

So if you have a project in mind, or even if you want to buy some wooden garden furniture it’s worth checking them out first.  It’s possible to work wonders with broken pallets and un-graded scaffold boards.

The closest projects to Letchworth are Cambridge Wood Works, Woodchuck Recycling in Milton Keynes and St Albans Wood Recycling.  They’re all slightly different in terms of the type of wood and products they stock, but most stock hot logs too, made from recycled wood and great for your wood-burning stove.

Now if only there was one closer…


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