Our funding from Zero Waste Scotland comes to a close, but it’s definitely not the end for RE-CASK…
The RE-CASK promotional video, created by Seamus Lumsden.
As the first window of funding comes to an end, we’re taking a look back through our achievements, discoveries and progress in moving towards a more low carbon future.
With our whisky barrel project, RE-CASK, we’ve been able to work our way through approximately 80 oak barrels since the beginning, preventing around 4 tonnes of CO2 from entering our atmosphere.
Since early 2020, we’ve developed four pilot product ranges and several innovative processing techniques, which have unlocked a whole World of potential for bringing these oak barrels into the circular economy. We’ve spoken to a whole range of people, including businesses, organisations, designers, architects and more, in order to gain valuable insights on how these products could be put into practice, and how we can fine tune them. We also began investigating the impact of the pandemic, and how this has altered what our customers – new and existing – may need, and how these products could help to create innovative solutions.
Along with a wide-ranging portfolio of products, including outdoor furniture, cladding, play equipment and fencing, our unique Grading and Parallel Processing techniques are some of our proudest achievements.
With a highly unusual curved trapezoid shape the staves are notoriously challenging to work with. Combined with the laborious selection process of choosing staves of a specific width, it’s easy to see why little has been done with whisky barrels. For example, a customer or project may specify 40 staves at 120mm. Without our Graded Staves, this might involve breaking down 40 barrels to obtain those 40 staves. And this process would have to be carried out every time, for each and every project and customer. But by having a stock of these categorised staves, this process is now so much more efficient.
Our Parallel Processing technique has been designed to tackle the curved trapezoid shape. By transforming the profile of the staves more towards a rectangular shape, we’ve been able to successfully apply the staves to several of the RE-CASK product ranges. It essentially allows each of the staves to sit precisely alongside one another within their final configuration, and it has also opened up so much potential for those looking to create for themselves. Architects, interior designers and furniture designers for example, now have a material which is far more manageable and useable.
Using our Grading and Parallel Processing, it’s the fencing and screens is where there seems to be lots of unusual and practical applications. With the correct fixtures, they could be used as social distancing measures, both indoors and outdoors, as partitions for home offices, moveable and static dividers in commercial spaces like offices and meeting rooms; in bars, restaurants, and even schools; as bin stores, garden partitions and fencing, and so much more. Creatively, they could be used to build bespoke 2 storey sculptural pieces like the one above by Richard Shed Studio, utilising the variety of stave configurations we offer. The opportunities are the limits of your imagination.
Our other ranges also saw positive developments. The outdoor play equipment was put to the test by the children at Milton Community Garden, part of the North Glasgow Community Food Initiative. As a result we’ve been able to make adaptations to improve the safety and longevity of the products even more. See them in action here!
Our cladding range was expanded to include some more unusual and creative options, and some of our outdoor furniture pieces were featured in the RE-CASK promotional video above. After several inquiries we’re excited to see on which streets and outdoor spaces the furniture will end up, and the spaces in which our unique cladding will feature! You’ll see below our bench designed in collaboration with Sustrans as part of their Pocket Places project, which you can read more about here.
Although it’s the end of the first stage of the project, we’re very excited to see how RE-CASK will evolve and become part of the GWR portfolio. These oak casks have so much potential, in not only helping us move towards a lower carbon future, but also allowing GWR to continue providing valuable training and employment opportunities to those in the Glasgow area.
It’s good-bye for now from the RE-CASK team, but not from the project. Watch this space, and please get in touch with us if you’d like to chat about any of these ranges!
All of the RE-CASK digital catalogues can be found at www.issuu.com/glasgowwoodrecycling