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Contest Sponsored by Aussie Recycler Takes Reclaimed Lumber to New Heights
Craftsmen Take Recycled Crate Components, Make Them into Works of Art
Date Posted: 4/5/2004
An Australian company that recycles pallets and containers has taken recycling to a new level. Waste Converters Recycling sponsored a contest that spurred craftsmen to make furniture and other value-added goods from used lumber reclaimed from crates.
Waste Converters Recycling has a 38-acre recycling depot in
Ward reclaimed wood crates that were exported to
The problem was to encourage woodworkers to use the recycled wood. This proved to be a difficult challenge. Many woodworkers could not see the potential for using recycled wood unless it was already in fully ‘dressed condition.’ Waste Converters Recycling did not have the personnel or equipment resources to process the recycled wood, preferring to sell the lumber cheaply in its rough sawn condition, still containing fasteners used to assemble the parts into a crate.
In order to show woodworkers the potential for the recycled lumber, Ward started a woodworking competition in conjunction with the Victorian Woodworking Association and Iveco Trucks, the truck factory where the engines were imported. Iveco contributed $5,000 in prize money, and the contest, ‘Create with a Crate,’ was born.
The competition was promoted at an annual woodworking fair held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Soon woodworkers from around the state began collecting crates from the Waste Converters Recycling depot.
Entrants were allowed to use only one crate and could take up to 12 months to design and make a piece of furniture or similar work. Only the lumber contained in the crate could be used. The only additional materials permitted were screws, nails, adhesives and finishes.
The competition had five categories:
n Best Sculpture
n Best Furniture Piece
n Best Design
n Most Innovative Use of Timber
n Best of Show
The judging took place at the Working with Wood Fair in
The Best in Show price was awarded to Ed Sargeant, who crafted a fully functional violin that is fit for concert halls. He enthusiastically played this beautifully crafted musical instrument at the judging.
Other prize-winning entries included a life-size carving of a stingray, a dining room table with chairs and a steam-bent coffee table. The overall quality of the entries was superb. It was amazing how the recycled industrial lumber could be transported into such works of art.
The entries were exhibited at
Response to the contest was so positive that organizers plan to sponsor it as an annual event. Entries are being solicited for the 2004 competition, which will be judged in November 2004.
(Editor’s Note: For more information about this article, contact Waste Converters Recycling at 03-9799-1935 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)