Orbit Homes celebrates recycling over 200 tonnes of unused wood with sustainable social enterprise

Orbit Homes celebrates recycling over 200 tonnes of unused wood with sustainable social enterprise

Orbit Homes is celebrating after recycling more than 200 tonnes of unused wood from its construction sites, after partnering with sustainable social enterprise, Community Wood Recycling. 

 Community Wood Recycling has been working with Orbit Homes since 2020, providing a commercial waste wood collection service at six of its new-build developments, across the Midlands, East and South of England. 

The organisation is made up of 30 social enterprises, who collect and reuse waste wood from construction sites, whilst creating jobs and providing training for disadvantaged or unemployed people. 

Last year, Orbit Homes’ partnership with Community Wood Recycling helped save more than 200 tonnes of unused wood from the waste stream, 103 tonnes in CO2 emissions by using collection trucks rather than skips and assisted in creating paid jobs and training for local people. 

David Treadwell, Project Director at Mid-Sussex Community Wood Recycling.

The materials which were retrieved from six Orbit Homes sites, were reused by the community for DIY and building projects or made into products such as bird boxes or dining tables. If the wood was not suitable to be repurposed, it was then recycled into woodchip and used in the manufacture of particleboard, animal beddings or as carbon neutral fuel in power stations. 

Group Director of Orbit Homes, Helen Moore said: “We are committed to working with suppliers who share our passion for building thriving communities in a sustainable manner and we are extremely proud to be partnered with Community Wood Recycling on a number of our developments. Working with this fantastic social enterprise not only lessens the impact we have on the environment, but also helps to deliver social value and create a better society, by providing work and training opportunities to those who are in need of support to get into meaningful employment.” 

Community Wood Recycling offers a wide range of work opportunities, such as collecting wood from sites, preparing timber for sale, and making wooden products. This labour-intensive activity provides ex-offenders, people with learning difficulties and those recovering from substance abuse or ill mental health, a way to build their confidence and self-esteem. They can learn new skills and overcome barriers to finding employment.  

Managing Director of Community Wood Recycling, Richard Mehmed, added: “Orbit Homes is creating real social value by working with Community Wood Recycling.  Our partnership helps to build a circular economy and enables our work with some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  We are very grateful for this support, and we look forward to our relationship going from strength to strength.” 

The Orbit Homes developments currently working with Community Wood Recycling, include: The Hedgerows in East Sussex, Spring Grove in Suffolk, Savant Court in Staffordshire, Micklewell Park in Daventry, Newlands in Attleborough, Chapel View in Warwickshire and Wellington Place at Marham Park in Suffolk.

A further three Orbit Homes construction sites will begin working with the social enterprise in the months to come. 

Header image: Mark Seymour, Orbit Homes Project Manager at The Hedgerows development in Hellingly and Richard Mehmed, Managing Director at Community Wood Recycling.

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