The MP for Bassetlaw, Brendan Clarke-Smith, witnessed first-hand the important role that waste wood plays in the circular economy during a visit to R Plevin & Sons’ wood recycling site in Nottinghamshire on Friday (October 14).
The visit came as the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) officially launched a nationwide MP Engagement Project, intended to improve understanding of wood recycling among policymakers and to build a network of MPs who support the industry.
Mr Clarke-Smith was shown around the 12-acre wood processing site at Elkesley where around 150,000 tonnes of wood – including up to 100,000 tonnes of waste wood – is transformed into value-added products each year.
R Plevin & Sons Managing Director, Jamie Plevin, explained how the company uses higher grade wood to make products such as its Snowflake range of equine and animal bedding, while lower grade material which is not suitable for animal bedding is either recycled for use in panelboard manufacture, or used to produce fuel for biomass energy generation.
The Elkesley site has benefited from significant investment since being purchased by Plevin in 2002 and features an outdoor wood recycling yard alongside an indoor animal bedding operation featuring state-of-the-art automated screening and baling technology.
The visit was arranged by the WRA, which has been inviting MPs to visit member sites as part of its MP Engagement Project. The WRA has also written to the Environment Secretary and Business Secretary and other key members of parliament, outlining the important contribution that the waste wood sector makes to UK energy security and carbon reduction targets.
Mr Clarke-Smith said: “I was delighted to visit R Plevin & Sons to learn first-hand about the important role waste wood plays in our circular economy. This family-run business is a great example of making the most from our waste and of how the industry contributes to energy security, net zero and the growth agenda.”
Following the site tour, WRA Chair Richard Coulson underlined the numerous benefits that the waste wood sector brings to the UK, from green jobs and diverting waste from landfill to providing biomass fuel to generate 3.3TWhh of green baseload power. However, he stressed that this role needed to be recognised and protected in future government strategy.
Mr Coulson said: “It was great to launch our MP engagement project today and to welcome Mr Clarke-Smith to the Elkesley site to hear about Plevin and also about the Wood Recyclers’ Association and our aspirations for continuing the growth of the industry.”
Mr Plevin said: “It was a pleasure to show Mr Clarke-Smith around our Elkesley site in Nottinghamshire and to show him how we make the most of waste wood throughout the supply chain. We are a family business and are really proud of our team. Our mission is to be the market leader in wood recycling and animal bedding manufacture. On behalf of the whole team, I would like to thank him for taking the time to come and visit.”