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Demolition phase starts on our Raasay distillery project.

In any small island location, out of necessity, recycling has always been a way of life. Just as today you can’t easily ‘pop out’ to get a new part for the car, or something to fix a broken window in the past recycling and repurposing was a requirement of daily survival.

The cost of having things delivered to the Highlands and Islands these days can be prohibitive – especially when there’s a ferry journey involved (even if it’s only 20mins). And the same goes for taking things off the island.

In order to keep costs down we’ve been looking for ways to recycle as much of the soft strip and demolition material as possible.

The parts of the existing building that are coming down are timber frame with a harled, blockwork outer skin and concrete tiled roofs. This masonry will be crushed on site and used for road and hardstanding build up and hardcore infills where required.

Some of the timber frame and engineered roof trussed have been given to a local self-builder (in the truest sense); another self-builder is taking the windows that are salvageable; and yet another the paving slabs.

Kitchen equipment has been gifted to several community organisations including the local crofter’s association, and the local heritage trust; and items of furniture, bed linen, crockery and books have been donated to local charities.

By re-distributing all these perfectly useable materials we have managed to avoid taking any waste off the island.

It also goes without saying that on 4th, 5th & 6th November the bonfire that forms the centrepiece of the annual fire & whisky ‘festival’ on the island will be well stocked.

By then the thought of this demolition phase of the project will be a distant memory.

Olli Blair