martinspeed recycling


Over the last two years Martinspeed have instigated and developed the salvaging and recycling of packing materials that are no longer required by our clients or by Martinspeed. This has helped the environment and also our upcycling clients who make good use of the salvaged materials.

The packing cases that have transported treasures around the globe and for which there is no longer any use are collected on a daily basis from each of our five facilities by Martinspeeds recycling team.

Onion Dome seating area, Student accommodation, Union St , London
Martinspeed recycles all packing cases and used clear polythene, polystyrene, polyurethane and plastazote foam used in packing case interiors. As well as plastic, the paper and card used to soft pack and protect art works and artifacts is also salvaged.

Union Yard Project with architect Nicolas Henniger, Martinspeed Bianca Rd Garden

The recycling team assesses what can be recycled and remove any materials which are not salvageable. If a packing case is well made, such as a full museum specification case, and has been constructed with salvaging in mind then it is often just a case of unscrewing the case panels and breaking the packing case down into its flat sheets of timber and ply. The soft foam interiors, such as plastazote, are also removed and sent to a schools scrap project in Homerton.

Children’s portable easels, Beehives built from salvaged material by a Martinspeed employee, Gus

Packing cases are often built to withstand the apocalypse…….and come “bolted” together with screws, nails, staples and what appears to be a super strength glue. These, and especially the larger cases, will not yield to straight forward deconstruction. These cases are cut up into their recyclable parts and the remaining skeleton can be rescued and recycled for use as raised plant beds in allotment gardens. Smaller packing cases with good proportions are left whole, the internal foam removed, and recycled to be used for planters and general storage.

Children’s Scrap Project

The list of Martinspeed Recycling clients is developing the whole time. Many of them are community projects alongside individual artists, designers and furniture makers.

Amongst our recycling clients are:

  • Chelsea College of Art 3D Department and individual students
  • South Bank University design Students
  • Rosendale Allotment Association SE 21
  • Agnes Riley Community Gardens SW12
  • Nomadic Community Gardens E1
  • The Union Yard Project SE1
  • The Iris Theatre Company, Covent Garden