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Penticton group wants to put old wood to new use

Waste Knot is close to beginning operation that will sell wood it salvages from landfills and construction sites

Hoping to put more old wood to new use, a fledgling non-profit has asked a local government for permission to scavenge from its landfills.

The organizers behind Waste Knot plan to round up unwanted wood, spruce it up as needed, then sell it from a retail location in Penticton.

“We’re hoping that the community gets behind this and helps us out,” Deb Thorneycroft last week told the board of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Thorneycroft is a member of the Okanagan Upcycle ReSource Society, which will operate Waste Knot.

She noted that nearly 25,000 tonnes of wood was chipped at Campbell Mountain and Okanagan Falls landfills in 2012,   some of which could have likely been salvaged. She’s also hoping to collect product from local mills and contractors.

“They often have a lot of smaller waste materials that can be reutilized for other purposes, rather than just being mulched or chipped,” Thorneycroft said.

Besides reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and helping people save money on wood, Waste Knot also hopes to offer jobs to clients of the Penticton and District Society for Community Living, who could assist with collection and sorting and also do some value-added manufacturing by building birdhouses and other small items.

Allan Patton, the RDOS director for rural Oliver, said Waste Knot could easily expand its mandate.

“I could see a real use for some of your people to come to a property and do the demolition right there, and then go straight to your outlet, instead of having to go the landfill site,” he said.

Thorneycroft said the society intends to eventually purchase a truck and trailer to do just that. It also hopes to offer more than wood at its planned retail space at the PDSCL property on Industrial Avenue.

“There currently is no place to buy used building materials in the South Okanagan. You have to go all the way to Kelowna if you want to find a door or a sink or something like that,” said Thorneycroft. “So, yes, we’re definitely hoping to expand this.”

RDOS staff members told the board they are working out the details of a partnership with Waste Knot and have already identified sites at the Okanagan Falls and Campbell Mountain landfills suitable for wood sorting and stockpiling.


Thorneycroft said the society is waiting to nail down a deal with the RDOS before it officially rolls out its plans to the public.