Hamilton County Highway Department, Habitat ReStore, Volkswagen, Architectural Surfaces, and Create Here Collaborate on Pallet Recycling Project.
The Volkswagen Pallet Project is a neighborly Volkswagen initiative to provide the Chattanooga community with ongoing access to large quantities of oversized pallet lumber. As a follow-up to last month’s highly successful launch, the second distribution will take place April 17-18.
The Volkswagen Group of America’s Chattanooga plant—currently under construction at Enterprise South—is in the midst of stocking its buildings with large-scale equipment for building, assembling and painting cars. This equipment is being delivered to the Chattanooga Volkswagen site on huge pallets, made entirely of good quality lumber that has strong potential for reuse.
In most cases, shipping materials such as these would either be scrapped, recycled or simply thrown away. But our new automotive neighbors have opted instead to offer them to Chattanooga artists, non-profits and community projects at no cost.
During the first distribution days, generosity, teamwork, and tremendous community spirit abounded as a group of roughly thirty Chattanoogans gathered the wood they needed to build everything from sheds and planter boxes to furniture and fine art. Throughout both Saturday and Sunday, the wood recipients braved sweat, splinters and sunburns—working together to break down and haul off every one of the 50+ pallets.
For April’s distribution days, Hamilton County Highway Department is donating trucking services, Architectural Surfaces is allowing use of their parking lot, and CreateHere and the Habitat Restore are co-organizing, with the ReStore providing tools, volunteers, and additional give-away items.
“It was inspiring to be a part of the first pick up days—to see the variety of creative approaches that were taken to break down each pallet, and the teamwork that was necessary to do so,” says CreateHere organizer Alison Burke. “It was, without a doubt, one of the most tangible demonstrations of community that I’ve witnessed—and I’m very excited to see it happening again.”
“Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga is thrilled to begin a collaboration on waste reduction services since it is one of the core values guiding our ReStore. We have already been fortunate enough to have some of the Volkswagen team volunteer with us on one of our worksites. We look forward to partnering with them on future projects!” says Tina Shaw-Cox, director of ReStore operations.
“Our slogan ‘Green City, Green Plant, Green Car’ is more than just words to Volkswagen. We try to incorporate environmentally friendly tactics into all that we do, so that Volkswagen is healthy for Chattanooga’s natural and economic environment,” said Dieter Schleifer, Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations Manager of Plant Infrastructure. “Volkswagen is very grateful for the assistance of all the organizations involved in this project and we look forward to other environmentally-friendly collaborations in the future,” he added.
The second Volkswagen Pallet Project will take place from 10 am – 3 pm on Saturday, April 17 and 12 – 3 pm on Sunday, April 18. Some tools will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. This event is free and open to anyone willing to work for their lumber.
For more information:
Please contact Alison Burke at email@example.com.
About The Organizations Involved:
- Architectural Surfaces specializes in custom architectural woodwork, cabinetry, solid surfaces, store fixtures, countertops and more. They are actively involved in construction project across the Southeastern United States with products and services that exceed industry standards. They are dedicated to working closely with architects, general contractors, and all of their clients throughout the construction process to ensure satisfaction.
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a store that accepts donations of new and gently used items from individuals and businesses in the community, and sells those items to the public at a reduced cost, usually 50-70 percent of the original retail value. All proceeds go toward building Habitat homes with the local Habitat affiliate. Opened in 2004, the Restore seeks to help in the building of more affordable homes, help the environment through the recycle and reuse of saleable building materials, and help other homeowners by providing new and used home improvement materials at affordable prices to people of all income levels.
- Hamilton County’s Highway Department focuses on maintain 880 miles of Hamilton County surface treatment, hot mix paved roads, and bridges to a level that is safe to the traveling public. County vehicles and equipment maintenance, traffic shop, landscaping and parts from stockroom are also provided as separate activities.
- Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations LLC will invest $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and create 2,000 direct jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the new Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs over the life of the project. The Chattanooga plant will build a new midsize sedan specially designed for the North American market. Approximately 30 percent of these cars will be powered by Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel Technology.
- CreateHere is a non-profit based in Chattanooga, formed in 2007 as an experiment in harnessing the economic potential of creative individuals. Their programs have cultivated and engaged innovators, attracting and retaining some of the city’s brightest minds. Their workspace on Chattanooga’s burgeoning Southside is a meeting place for a diverse community of creative agents.