Bristol Wood Recycling Project (BWRP) has celebrated its 20th birthday joined by co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer.

BWRP was the first project to be set up on the model created by Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project, and led the way in building the Community Wood Recycling network which now extends to 28 social enterprises nationwide.

From being a pioneer of the circular and social economies in the city, BWRP has become a beacon of sustainability, according to Community Wood Recycling, fulfilling its community and environmental objectives and employing twelve members of staff whilst hosting volunteers and rescuing and re-using wood every day.

Ms Denyer said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to join in the celebrations of Bristol Wood Recycling Project’s 20th birthday. Bristol’s identity as a green city made up of vibrant businesses and social, environmental and cultural projects is exemplified by BWRP.

“Doing good for people and planet, creating meaningful, low-carbon employment, and working cooperatively for a vibrant and regenerative economy; BWRP is exemplary of what businesses can and should be striving towards. It is a business not just of today, but of the future.

“BWRP has been operating and thriving under this model for 20 years. It demonstrates that the Green economy here in Bristol and beyond is here to stay, and sets a model that so many others can and will follow.”

Ben Moss, co-founder of BWRP added: “We can’t quite believe we’ve made it to this significant milestone! What started off as a good idea has flourished into a cultural landmark in our city, the kind of ‘green enterprise’ that people associate Bristol with. From starting off as outliers, we now hold a middle ground of practices that define a positive way of doing things; reusing and reclaiming, working as a co-operative, having strong social and environmental objectives, and equality and parity in the workplace (we all get paid the same wage).

“We are putting into practice what others know to be the way the future should look. And although we have been running for 20 years, we feel young, and our ideas for how we can continue feel as fresh and as vibrant as they ever did. We’re looking forward to what the next twenty years might hold, as our way of doing things becomes ever more important in these times of great change.”

Richard Mehmed, founder of the Community Wood Recycling network said: “I remember the early days of the Bristol Wood Recycling Project, helping to set up the first few wood racks in the pouring rain. Thank goodness for the positive attitude of Ben and his volunteers! They turned an initially daunting plan into an exciting project which has had a national impact. BWRP has truly helped to blaze a trail for sustainability, pioneering a greener way of doing things during an era when environmental concerns were largely ignored.”

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