• October


  • 131


Through a recent audit of our waste streams for our Net Zero Carbon Road Map it was identified that we were paying a lot for skips at our yard here in Folkestone.

Of the waste that is produced on the projects that we work on; wood plays a high part on what is returned to our yard for disposal. As we looked into the costs and how many skips were being used monthly, it was clear that too many skips for wood were being used. Upon closer inspection it became clear that the wood skips were being underutilised, void space in the way material was stacked playing a major part.

An alternative had to be found. We spoke to a number of people at Kent County Council, in particular those that head up the teams for Low Carbon Kent to source an alternative way in which we could dispose of this material. As a member of Kent Construction Focus Group we attend many networking meetings and bumped into Erik from Woodpeckers of Kent, a community wood recycling venture, Erik and his team collect wood for resale, as well as upcycling into many items for use within the local community.

As Woodpeckers collect the timber in a vehicle, we could do away with the requirement for a skip(s) and have wood and timber product stacked within a segregated area of our yard. Woodpeckers then come and collect, carefully stacking the wood onto the vehicle to reduce void space by 100%. We originally were using 12 yard skips for timber collection, with the wood collected by vehicle we were having 14 yards of similar taken away.

This has meant the start of a great partnership with Woodpeckers  community wood recycling who now collect all our timber from our yard, the wood is then carefully graded with the high quality reusable timber sold back into the DIY market, the mid-range timber goes into making a fabulous range of items from garden planters, benches, bird boxes and more, the lower grade material is then chipped to go too biomass, animal bedding or to make into OSB board.

What makes the project more attractive to AW Group is the volunteers that Erik has to help him collect the timber and then produce into the goods for sale come from marginalised groups. We’ve been supportive of his colleague Matthew who is deaf, helping him at the yard to maintain good health & safety practices whilst loading.

At the recent Kent Construction Expo which we exhibited at, items for our stand were made by Woodpeckers which now feature at the front of our HQ here in Folkestone – supporting the ethos of community wood recycling.

As part of this initiative and with the support of Low Carbon Kent, the venture was filmed for them and can be viewed below, so successful has the collaboration been our Recycling Lead here at AW Group, Greg Mckenzie, was asked to speak at a recent event here in Folkestone with Erik.

This inaugural event was so successful and well attended by local businesses that further events are now planned for Canterbury and other major towns within Kent.

Community Wood Recycling Project

Circular Economy Event

AW Group is a multi-disciplined construction company providing a broad range of support and manpower across building and rail projects.

Our Fields are:

AW Construction – We offer an outstanding UK-wide fit out service, taking care of everything from scheduling rollouts & ordering materials to assistance with design and onsite delivery

AW Rail – We use the very best labour force and a proactive approach to deliver first-class construction and maintenance projects across the rail industry

AW Labour – We provide a high-calibre blue collar and white-collar workforce with a diverse range of skills, to support the construction and rail industries


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