Community Wood Recycling - Saving resources - Creating jobs
Co-Operatives UK | COOP

Website photographs courtesy of

Callum Burns

© 2018 Bristol Wood Recycling Project. Company Limited by Guarantee. Company No. 5081319 Registered in England and Wales Registered Office: Unit 4 William Street, Bristol, BS2 0RG

About us

OUR STORY, OBJECTIVES AND ASPIRATIONS

Our story

For 14 years, Bristol Wood Recycling Project has thrived on otherwise unusable land and resources. Our self-financing model, in which waste wood is diverted from landfill for sale and reuse, was pioneered by the national Community Wood Recycling Project based in Brighton. With their guidance we have grown from a shoestring operation of two staff to currently employing eleven people and regularly engaging around forty volunteers. Since 2004 our collections team have saved over five thousand tons of wood from decaying in landfill, in turn providing Bristol's trade, domestic, creative and alternative communities a fantastic resource of affordable, salvaged timber.

As a not-for-profit Social Enterprise without shareholders or dividends, the income we make from sales and collections are locked into the business so that we can better meet our objectives for people and planet. This means that after the bills are paid, we work principally to create an inclusive, resourceful community in which well-being is primary. Bristol provides a fertile social ecology for this sort of thing, and in 2011 we evolved into a Cooperative enabling greater agency and ownership for staff and volunteers alike, as well as working in solidarity with the global Cooperatives movement.

In 2018 we have had to vacate our original home on Bristol's historic former Cattle Market after a long and generous peppercorn rent from Bristol City Council. With enormous good fortune we found a suitable premise a short distance away in St Philips which boasts a prime location next to the Household Waste Recycling Centre, a vast workshop and hitherto undreamed of internal space. This move, and the intention to purchase our new home, represent both the largest opportunity and challenge in our story; we welcome all participation in our necessary growth and innovation.

Reimagine Work: Bristol Wood Recycling Project | The Hive

Objectives

Enable social inclusion

Volunteers and staff engage with Bristol Wood Recycling Project from many diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Together we work to create an inclusive, sociable space in which all can learn and share.

 

In the last 12 months we have facilitated over 1000 volunteer work-days through a program so popular our current waiting list is several weeks long.

Save resources from waste

We are here to prevent waste and empower others to do likewise; approximately 50% of the material we handle is reused.

We achieve this by hand sorting and de-nailing waste wood, allowing each useful piece a new lease of life through our timber yard or workshop. In this way marginal resources are recirculated and irregular needs are met.

 

Timber which cannot be reused is recycled to woodchip or energy reclamation.

Provide affordable timber to the community

Anyone can visit our yard and buy small or large quantities of salvaged wood at considerably lower prices than new alternatives.

 

Stock changes daily but always includes a range of dimensioned softwood, interesting hardwoods, pallet planks, scaffold boards and sheeting. We also carry a small range of furniture, and produce budget firewood and kindling from off-cuts.

Remain Self Funding

Our business model enables us to engage volunteers and serve our community without being reliant on external funding.

 

As a not-for-profit company without shareholders or dividends, Bristol Wood Recycling Project's assets are dedicated to increasing our social and environmental contribution.

Want to volunteer at BWRP?

We also collect waste timber. Find out more