Who We Are
Oxford Wood Recycling was established in 2005 to address the sustainability issues surrounding wood waste management in the UK whilst providing employment opportunities for people facing disadvantages to re-enter the workplace.
Today Oxford Wood Recycling has become an award winning Social Enterprise.
A social enterprise working in and for your community
Oxford Wood Recycling (OWR) was established in 2005 by Richard Snow, Nick Dowling and Helen Porter who had met during a postgraduate Forestry degree at Oxford University. Their mission is to address the wasteful attitude towards wood products in the UK by providing alternative waste management solutions.
Building on Richard’s social enterprise business experience there was also an opportunity to enable people facing severe disadvantages to get back into mainstream employment. Using these two issues as pillars of an organisation, Oxford Wood Recycling (OWR) was created and based in Milton Park, Didcot. By 2015 OWR had outgrown that space and relocated to Abingdon, just off the Drayton Road.
Oxford Wood Recycling recently scooped the Award for Social Responsibility at the Vale 4 Business Awards in recognition of the positive impact that the business has on the local community. Whether making wood products or handling timber, Oxford Wood Recycling believes that working with wood is very therapeutic!
OWR Impact- Social and Environmental
We collect unwanted wood from both commercial and domestic properties that may otherwise end up in landfill.
Our reclaimed wood is cleaned up and offered for sale or made into furniture in our Abingdon workshop.
We reduce waste and carbon emissions by recycling and up-cycling wood.
We have become an award winning social enterprise and offer training to local people through volunteering and employment opportunities.
Oxford Wood Recycling carries out an average of 150 waste wood collections a month from both commercial and domestic sites. The majority of wood is sent to power stations and the rest of sufficient quality is reused. Volunteers help to clean up the reclaimed wood and offer it for sale through the Abingdon Wood Shop. All of Oxford Wood Recycling’s financial surpluses are re-invested back into the organisation.
Oxford Wood Recycling offers beneficiary placements in wood waste management, business administration, sales and marketing. Since 2005 OWR has worked with over 55 people and almost 200 volunteers.
Oxford Wood Recycling now partners with other social enterprises and enabling charities in Oxfordshire who share its aims.
“Having been introduced to OWR through Oxfordshire Mental Health Services, OWR gave me a supportive, structured and positive work environment. OWR nurtured my skills and enabled me to enter back into full time employment full of confidence again”
Oxford Wood Recycling are committed to growing an organisation that is socially inclusive and focused on supporting those in need. The wood recycling business needs to remain economically sustainable and further the reduction, reuse and recycling of wood waste across the region.
Since moving to Abingdon, OWR has made additions with the incorporation of a wood working joinery shop. Manufacturing and adding value to reclaimed wood creates more opportunities to grow the social enterprise network with charities like RESTORE to support people in need through training, employment and work experience.
“We are constantly thinking of new things to do with recycled wood and taking inspiration from our customer’s projects have recently developed our own furniture collection from reclaimed wood. We have a new showroom space designed to provide a vision of how reclaimed wood with all its quirky irregularities and charm can enhance modern living and encourage people to get excited about making things.”
Richard Snow -CEO, Oxford Wood Recycling