Request for information about reusing wood from the north London reuse and recycling centres

Nature of Request
Waste prevention
Case id


Date received

I am a Haringey resident that's looking to start my own business using reclaimed wood.
How could if I can have the option to use the wood that getting given to your local waste
I am totally new to this and appreciate your advice.


Response date

REF: Request for information about using reclaimed wood – our reference 2021-122

Thank you for your request about the potential for taking unwanted wood from the north London reuse and recycling centres for reuse. I am sorry for our delayed response to your query.

It’s really good to hear that you are looking to use reclaimed wood and give it another life. However, I’m afraid to say that we can’t give residents or local businesses wood from the north London reuse and recycling centres for other uses.

There are two main reasons for this:

  • Firstly, there is a significant amount of legislation in place regarding the permitting of reuse and recycling centres and the movement of waste. The legislation is in place to protect the environment, specifically to prevent the unauthorised removal of waste and unscrupulous disposal such as subsequent fly-tipping. This means that collectors of material have to be registered with the Environment Agency or registered as exempt, and material has to be taken to appropriately permitted (again by the Environment Agency) locations for treatment or recycling.
  • Secondly, our contracts to manage the reuse and recycling centres do not allow for ‘totting’ whereby authorised companies, usually the operator of the site, is contractually allowed to take material away from the site for reuse and resale. Instead, wood from north London is taken to be processed in Hadfield where the majority is recycled to make new products such as chipboard, animal bedding or garden mulches. Any wood not suitable for recycling is sent to biomass for energy recovery.

The best option for obtaining unwanted wood might be to approach a company with wood offcuts, so intercepting it before it gets into the waste recycling and disposal system. I would suggest contacting the Community Wood Recycling organisation if you haven’t done so already. Community Wood Recycling is made up of the National Community Wood Recycling Project (NCWRP) which was founded in 2003 to help set up and develop a nationwide network of wood recycling social enterprises, and the member enterprises. I’m sure they’d be able to advise. Their website is

Once again, I’m sorry for our delay in responding to your enquiry, but if you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. In the meantime all best wishes with your work.

Yours sincerely,