Wood recycling at the Chiltern Lifestyle Centre site

The first collection of waste wood to be recycled has been made from the Chiltern Lifestyle Centre site.

BAM Construct UK, who are the contractors responsible for the Chiltern Lifestyle Centre site in Amersham, have commissioned Community Wood Recycling network member, Chiltern Wood Recycling, to collect the waste wood from the development.

The High Wycombe based social enterprise recycle and reuse waste wood in order to reduce deforestation and the need for landfill.

Managing Director, Andy Hicks, said: "By recycling and reusing waste wood we are helping to reduce deforestation and the need for landfill, which in turn helps to prevent the release of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. We then reuse or resell this wood, which locks up carbon and prevents it from damaging the environment."

As a social enterprise, Chiltern Wood Recycling Project offers job opportunities for people who have experienced long term unemployment, or who have physical or mental health difficulties.

They also welcome volunteers from diverse backgrounds who may have suffered hardship, and they offer them training and regular volunteer work to help with learning new skills and gaining confidence. The organisation offers training in wood working skills and has a timber store selling reclaimed wood to the public, and a thriving workshop where creations are made from the wood they collect.

BAM's Jesse Putzel, Head of Sustainability, said: "BAM works with the national community wood recycling partnership, which supports our sustainability commitments. This reduces waste going to landfill sites and carbon emissions. In 2019 removing wood from the waste stream accounted for 151 fewer tonnes of CO2e.

"Although we pay for this service, it also creates jobs and promotes skills through training so it has a positive impact and is an excellent model."

Chiltern District Councillor Liz Walsh, cabinet member for Community said: "Everyone knows that recycling is essential if we want to help the environment and why waste something that's perfectly clean and capable of being used for another job or can be turned into something useful again. I'm also really pleased that we are supporting the Chiltern Wood Recycling Project who provide training and volunteering opportunities, for local people - especially those who might find it difficult to get into or back to employment."

The Chiltern Lifestyle Centre is a new state-of-the-art leisure and community facility being built by Chiltern District Council, to replace the existing community centre and leisure facilities in Amersham.

The Chiltern Lifestyle Centre will have an eight-lane 25 metre swimming pool, diving / teaching pool, children's splash area, badminton court, squash courts, climbing wall, library, café, exercise studios, hot yoga studio, gym, luxury spa, community centre, external children's play facilities, outdoor gym and skate park, and more.

Work started in Autumn 2019 and the centre is due to open at the end of 2021.

The Chiltern Pools centre, Community Centre and Nursery will remain open throughout the development. To find out more about the project please visit www.chilternlifestylecentre.com