Some 175252 tons of carpet waste including carpet tiles were diverted from landfill in the UK in 2018, according to Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK), representing a diversion rate of 44 %.
CRUK’s target going forward is to increase this tonnage by a minimum of 10000 tons year-on-year.
At its 11th Annual Conference and Awards event sponsored by Invista and held at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium, Birmingham on July 18, 2019 the organisation celebrated the achievements of its members while pledging to be more proactive in supporting innovation and helping the flooring sector to reuse and recycle more of its waste.
“The industry has made great progress voluntarily in the past ten years to become greener by working to minimise production waste and develop sustainable products and recycling outlets,” said CRUK scheme manager Adnan Zeb-Khan. “In turn, this has created resource and cost savings for companies across the supply chain.”
Amplifying the event’s theme, Marcel Knobbe, automotive business unit manager at Betap Tufting BV, based in Genemuiden, The Netherlands, highlighted the development of his company’s Next Gen100% recyclable single polymer carpets which aim to close the recycling loop for carpet in the residential, exhibition, automotive and contract sectors.
Other speakers included Tony Spreckley, director of Envirocycle London who explained the importance of targeting waste at source and discussed the impact of rethinking waste strategies, waste segregation and engaging demolition and flooring contractors to save waste from landfill and increase reuse across the nation. In two-and-a-half years, his company has diverted over 422300 carpet tiles from landfill to reuse.
“Our ethos is based upon the waste hierarchy – rethink, reuse and reduce,” he said. “The demolition and strip-out refurbishment sector has become a fruitful source of waste materials and we actively urge and encourage our providers to rethink their waste strategies. By tapping into the source of waste via our demolition and flooring connections, we have been able to recover some very large uplifts for used carpet tiles. And in turn, attract repeat business from private landlords with large commercial spaces, increasing reuse and reducing waste to landfill as a result.”
Glenn Mitchell, distribution manager at Designer Contracts, reported on success in taking back carpet waste for recycling from national commercial carpet fitting contracts. Each year, around 250 tonnes of carpet has been diverted from landfill into outlets ranging from the equestrian sector to new underlay. He added: “Not only have we benefited from cost savings as a result, we have shown that as the UK’s largest flooring contractor we are serious about the environment and the impact we have on it.”
Andy Hall, CRUK’s managing director presented seven companies with their awards, recognising how their efforts have helped to divert over one million tons of carpet waste from landfill to date.
The awards mark the achievements of members who have demonstrated innovation, commitment and best practice in the sector.
There were double celebrations for two companies: Designer Contracts Ltd won Take Back Partner of the Year with their Distribution Manager Glenn Mitchell clinching Recycling Champion for his commitment in encouraging all regional sites to return carpet waste to the central depot for reuse and recycling. While Edward Clay & Son Ltd took the Best Newcomer and Recycler of the Year awards.
Carpet Tile Recycling was named Reuse Member of the Year for their ‘tireless’ work over the past 13 years collecting, grading and marketing carpet tiles for reuse. The 2019 Outstanding Achievement accolade went to Mike Dobson, General Manager at Headlam for his “responsive and supportive engagement” with CRUK’s aims.
Wools of New Zealand’s long-term commitment to sustainability in the carpet industry by supporting CRUK and its activities was recognised with the Longstanding Support award.
Founded in 2008 by leading UK carpet manufacturers and distributors to tackle the 400,000 tonnes of waste carpet arising in the UK annually, Carpet Recycling UK welcomes enquiries from all types of organisations interested in finding new outlets for their waste carpet with potential savings on disposal costs.
CRUK currently has more than 110 members and its core funders are Cormar Carpets, Lifestyle Floors/Headlam, Brintons Carpets, DESSO, ege Carpets, Milliken and Balsan.