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Civic Impact

Tree and Wood Recovery Centre gives second life to trees

On May 10, Mississauga got a new reason to be green: the Tree and Wood Recovery Centre, a joint project between the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and Sawmill Sid, opened their doors. "The main thing we want to accomplish is to respect the wood," said Sheila Storey, the CEO of Sawmill Sid. "The wood that we’re using at the diversion lots doesn’t need to be wood chipped."

Instead, the Tree and Wood Recovery Centre will process usable wood from felled trees (like those affected by the Emerald Ash Borer) into lumber, live edge wood, and pieces that are suitable for projects. Storey says that one family recently brought in their trees to be transformed into a variety of pieces, including a dining room table and a guitar. "if people want to create a legacy, they can purchase repurposed wood, and come into the shop and work on it together as a family," says Storey.

Keeping the trees out of the wood chipper will also have a positive environmental impact. "If the wood is kept in lumber, tables, siding, we’re talking tonnes for carbon every year that could be captured." She's especially interested in working with developers across the GTA: as trees come down for new buildings, they leave a lasting hole in the neighbourhood. "If people know the trees are coming here and can be utilized, that really helps with that problem," she says. Recently, she worked with a senior centre developer whose felled trees will return to the centre as lumber. Additionally, Storey says that up to 20% of the Tree and Wood Recovery Centre's profits will be donated back to the TRCA.

The launch of the Tree and Wood Recovery Centre included milling demonstrations, snacks served on charcuterie boards produceds from trees milled by Sawmill Sid, and chainsaw sculptures.
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