Did you know there is a nationwide scheme set up to help people recycle and reclaim wood? Here at Empatika we’re all for recycling and re-using, so we thought we’d share his useful information with you.
The National Community Wood Recycling Project (NCWRP) is an initiative which was set up back in 2003, with an aim of developing a nationwide network of wood recycling social enterprises. There are NCWRP centres all around the UK, supporting local timber recycling, and they are playing a huge part in the re-homing of perfectly good wood – which would otherwise end up in landfill.
As a social enterprise, Community Wood Recycling is saving resources and creating jobs across the nation. As a fitted furniture company we know about waste timber – it has many uses and we try not to dispose of it when we can. But there’s only so much wood one person can hold onto at any one time – if you have a home workshop or shed of mysteries, you’ll know what we mean! When you can’t think of any more uses for that perfectly good wood, the best thing you can do is recycle it – you never know who may have a need for your waste timber as it’s perfect for DIY projects.
That’s what this project is all about – connecting people with a large amount of waste wood to those who can find a good use for it. Where would timber end up if it has no purpose? At the very best it is downcycled into woodchip, and at worst it ends up in landfill. In 2013 alone, Community Wood Recycling prevented over 2,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere, by reusing 2,720 tonnes of waste wood. What an achievement!
The Landfill Facts You Need to Know
Why is it so bad that most of our rubbish (much of which could be recycled or reused) ends up in landfill? For hundreds of years humans have been burying their rubbish underground, thinking it was a practical solution. In 2015, we now know this is not the case – one tonne of biodegradable waste emits between 200 and 400 cubic metres of landfill gas, or methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas and has 20 times the potency of carbon dioxide.
Landfills are bad for the environment, full stop. They produce several greenhouse gases which not only contribute to global warming, they leak and leach out nasty chemicals into the water course, which ends up in the sea and back into our diet. It’s essential that developed countries focus on waste prevention and recycling – not only because of the obvious negative consequences of using landfills, but because the UK is expected to reach its landfill limit in 2018. We bury around 18.8 million tonnes of household waste – 2 million tonnes more than any other EU country.
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce
The three R’s are critical in reducing waste sent to landfill and creating a better environment for our children and grandchildren. These days you can Recycle almost everything you use on a daily basis – even electricals such as mobile phones. Councils can pick up household recycling such as glass, plastic, paper and organic waste, and you can easily drop off unwanted clothes, shoes and furniture at charity shops.
It’s also a good idea to think about how you can Reduce the amount of waste you produce – which brings us to the last R, Reuse. Many everyday items you throw away could be reused – plastic carrier bags, plastic and glass bottles, packaging and used wood. Waste reduction ultimately starts in shops and supermarkets – only buy what you need and you know you can use before it goes off if it is perishable.
Recycling Wood and Buying Reclaimed Wood
Now you know how important it is to be recycling the waste wood you have and sourcing reused wood where possible – it’s time to find out where you can. Community Wood Recycling social enterprises sell recycled wood at competitive prices. From pieces of second hand furniture and doors to worktops, shelving and a variety of hard and soft woods, you’re bound to find what you need for your project. Finding recycled wood in the UK is becoming easier thanks to Community Wood Recycling and NCWRP.
Find your nearest wood recycling enterprise here: http://www.communitywoodrecycling.org.uk/find-your-nearest-enterprise/
[Image credit: http://www.communitywoodrecycling.org.uk/recycle-wood/]