On Friday 7th June Community Wood Recycling celebrated our tenth birthday – that’s ten years since Richard Mehmed took the plunge to replicate the successful model of the Brighton and Hove Community Wood Recycling Project nationwide.

Guests included many of our enterprises, representatives of the construction industry and local supporters of community wood recycling.  Guest of honour was local Green MP Caroline Lucas who along with Richard had the very difficult task of cutting our specially designed wood recycling cake.  We are grateful to Kier Group plc for their sponsorship of the event.

Community Wood Recycling Managing Director Richard Mehmed commented:

“When I set up Community Wood Recycling in 2003 it was my goal to develop a nationwide network of wood-recycling social enterprises.  We now have 25 projects from Glasgow to Taunton and all subscribe to our twin aims of saving resources by reusing as much waste wood as possible and creating work and training opportunities for disadvantaged people.  In ten years we have grown to annual collections of over 8,500 tonnes of timber across the network and have now successfully made the transition from grant funding to being self sustaining; we are particularly proud to have achieved this milestone in the face of the downturn in the construction industry.  We are very grateful to everyone who has supported our vision of a new and better way to deal with wood waste and particularly to our hard-working community wood recyclers.”

He added:

“After a successful first ten years we are now looking for the last few entrepreneurs to complete our UK coverage.  We’re particularly keen to hear from prospective community wood recyclers in Liverpool, Leeds and Hull, but if you’re in another part of the country give us a ring and we’ll discuss the prospects for your area.”

Caroline Lucas MP said:

“I am delighted to be able to attend the 10th birthday celebrations of Community Wood Recycling, which started originally right here in Brighton.

“It is a perfect example of an enterprise which impresses on both its environmental and social outcomes, and one which is economically sustainable too.  Congratulations to all involved in this project and I wish you all the best for a successful future.”

10 years of growth

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