Timber waste transformed into art & architecture

Smart Recycling seems an unlikely place for some of Australia’s acclaimed furniture designers, chefs, architects and artists to find inspiration. Yet Vue de Monde’s Shannon Bennett, furniture designer Mark Tuckey, eco-entrepreneur Joost Bakker, architect Jerry Wolveridge and artist David Bromley are all visitors.

When he can, Jerry Wolveridge loves to sift through the recycled materials at our yard. “Our firm has a reputation for the robust merging of textures, most commonly incorporating the natural character of timber – recycled where possible.” Designs that incorporate Smart Recycling wood waste have been awarded the Australian Timber Design Award, and the Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter for Sustainable Design.

Much of the packaging waste that enters the Smart Recycling, in particular the pallets arriving from the USA and Europe, is made of exotic hardwoods.  Ward Petherbridge, Smart Recyling’s Managing Director, thought it was a travesty that these valuable timbers were ending up in landfill or being mulched.  “It became a bit of a mission to find artists and designers to create products from this untapped resource.”

Bespoke furniture designer Mark Tuckey has also been sourcing from Smart Recycling for over 15 years. “These recycled materials are an important part of our product range. The real benefit is that the materials are re-worked at the site into a state which allows us to easily use them. They remove the nails and machine them ready for use,” said Tuckey.

Sustainable restaurateurs Joost Bakker and Shannon Bennett have incorporated recycled products into their high-end restaurant fit-outs. ‘The Greenhouse eco- restaurants in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth incorporated a huge array of items from Waste Converters depot. “The interior fit out was built from broken down timber boxes and packing crates, much of it salvaged from Waste Converters” said Bakker. “We have used Kenworth truck engine pallets for tables and chairs, Ford banners for furniture upholstery and plastic pallets and plywood for floor detailing. Even our platters are made from recycled baking trays from Cadbury’s and plywood salvaged from Viridian Glass was used by David Bromley as a canvas for a large painting behind the bar”. The Greenhouse demonstrates that the technology to live sustainably is readily available”.

Shannon Bennett commented that Waste Converters allowed him the opportunity to use products in his restaurant fit-outs that others have tossed to the side. Bennett stated that, “Waste Converters has been supplying me with all manner of recycled items for many years to use in my restaurant Vue de Monde and also in the fit out of some of my other venues. Ward’s passion for unloved waste products others have tossed to the side is unparalleled.


We recycle timber packaging, commercial and builders waste and sell recycled pallets, crates and landscaping products.