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Carpet Recycling UK

MEMBERS: Headlam Lifestyle Floors joins to support Carpet Recycling UK

In September Headlam Group plc became Carpet Recycling UK 's latest member, joining the group of 11 other companies who contribute to the association's core operating costs.

Headlam Lifestyle FloorsProject Co-ordinator Jane Gardner welcomed the company's backing: "The support of Headlam will help us push ahead to increase carpet recycling, turning waste into a marketable resource and stimulating development of more recycling outlets."

Keith Yates of Headlam said: "We are pleased to join CRUK as core funders and look forward to playing an active role in the organisation. As Europe 's leading floor covering distributor we believe we can make a significant contribution to the efforts already being made to improve recycling rates and achieve workable solutions to the problems our industry faces in this increasingly important area."

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MANUFACTURERS: Members report record recycling figures for 2011

New figures show that almost 6000 tonnes of carpet waste were diverted from landfill by seven of Carpet Recycling UK's manufacturing members this year. This represents a diversion rate of 85% and a 50% increase on 2010 figures for members' industrial waste.

A record breaking 4983 tonnes, of a total 5983 of the waste carpet offcuts were recycled to recover valuable fibres. The remaining 1035 tonnes were used for energy recovery; the high calorific value embedded in carpets makes them ideal for energy generation.

The seven manufacturers who submitted figures are Abingdon Flooring, Brintons, Cormar Carpets, Forbo, Milliken, Brockway and Penthouse Carpets. "Its a tremendous leap forward and a great achievement for the group" said Laurance Bird, director of CRUK, "All of these companies are expected to reach zero waste to landfill by 2012 with the infrastructure investments they have in place."

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COLLECTIONS: Desso rolls out carpet tile collections with Take Back™ scheme

CRUK member Desso established their position at the leading edge of sustainability when in 2008 they committed to the Cradle to Cradle® design philosophy, where material constituents of products can be reused and recycled perpetually in a closed loop system.

To contribute to this they have introduced an international Take Back™ programme, collecting waste carpet tiles (except those containing PVC) from their customers at a cost comparable to landfill. The collected tiles are either cleaned and reused or returned to the Netherlands where yarn is separated from the backing and is used in the production of new yarn. The bitumen from the backing is used in roofing and road surfacing products.

In a recent refurbishment of Wales & West Utilities HQ in Newport, where Desso installed 3,600m² of new carpet tiles, they worked with ALC Contracts and Carillion Property Services to recover the old tiles for reuse in local projects.

Read more about the project in our case study summary here.

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TRIALS: IFE Trisomat cleans up on carpet shred

Once post consumer carpets have been reduced to small pieces by shredding or granulating, fines must be removed before they can be reused in new products. Fines consist of latex particles from the carpet backings, along with accumulated dirt and grit.

Trials carried out using the IFE Trisomat flip flop screening system have shown good results for fines separation plus reduction in latex adhering to the fibres. The process subjects the material to a series of distinct mechanical motions & the aggressive action at inlet (up to 50g) as well as the stretching action of the mats reduces blinding and allows efficient screening and minimal down time.

IFE Trisomat fibres separated by flip flop screenA 25 mm carpet shred was used as the input material and a screen size of 5 mm extracted 27% of fines, with 18% of that being below 2 mm. The picture shows the resultant output of cleaned fibres along with the fines. Fines have potential as a recyclate filler or for cement processing as both chalk content and energy value are high.

For further information about the IFE Trisomat contact Andrew Hawkes, tel 01299 823689 or 07958 721726 or e-mail andrewhawkes7@aol.com.

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RETAILERS: New waste carrier regulations open door to collections

2011 has seen Carpet Recycling UK focus on encouraging retailers to collect and recycle their customers' old carpet and offcuts when new carpet is fitted. New waste regulations brought in by the Environment Agency earlier this year remove a cost barrier to retailers in setting such services.

Under the new two tier system for Waste Carrier registration, carpet fitters who are laying new carpet and carrying away the old carpet or removing off cuts do not require a waste carrier's licence until the end of December 2013. From 2014 they will only require a lower tier licence and this will be free of charge. Consequently flooring fitters may take post-consumer carpets direct to a recycler or back to a collection point for bulking up and onward transfer to a recycler without incurring licence fees at all, as long as they are the waste producers and the waste has arisen from their activity as carpet fitters.

Conditions do apply to on site storage including a 50m³ volume limit in secure container for up to three months. Contractors carrying construction waste fall outside of the lower tier and must register and pay for a licence.

Download summary information on the regulations from the Environment Agency website.

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OUTLETS: Nottingham's Wastecycle partnership achieves 94% diversion rate at HWRC

For the past two years, Redfield Road HWRC in Nottingham has been one of the highest performing household waste recycling sites in England. The recent addition of a container to collect carpet has now boosted their landfill diversion rate by a further 4%, to an impressive 94%. Total carpet diverted this year is likely to exceed 200 tonnes - equivalent to 12 football pitches.

Sheeted carpet container at Nottingham HWRC siteSuch high rates have been made possible by magnificent efforts of Wastecycle at Colwick to recycle and recover raw materials of all types. Arrangements at the HWRC site also maximise input for recycling, with segregation and sheeting of Carpets and underlay (shown) to prevent contamination and keep contents dry for processing. Onsite staff guide consumers on how to recycle old carpets and offcuts.

A Nottingham City Council spokesperson commented. "Our contractor Wastecycle has always strived to increase Nottingham's recycling performance at our HWRC. It's encouraging that the site now includes a separate container for carpet and underlay - yet another material that the Council and Wastecycle have successfully diverted away from landfill."

For more information on Wastecycle's services visit www.wastecycle.co.uk

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MUNICIPAL: Bedford trials new carpet recovery scheme

Bedford Borough Council is trialling a carpet recovery scheme at the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) on Barkers Lane in Bedford.

In August a dedicated container was placed on site for carpets, rugs and underlay. The collected waste is taken to Carpet Recycling UK member company HW Martin's Northampton site for processing for energy recovery. Bedford's HWRC is already recycling over 80% of the waste taken to the site and by introducing carpet collection is expected that another 5% will be diverted from landfill.

The Mayor, Dave Hodgson said "we are very pleased with this new service offered to us by HW Martin Waste Ltd who have made significant investments at their site in Northampton to be able to process materials like carpets into alternative fuels. We expect to divert more than 360 tonnes from landfill over the next year as awareness for this service grows amongst residents in Bedford".

For more information on HM Martin Waste please visit www.hwmartin.com/recycling

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The following companies provide the core funding for Carpet Recycling UK:

Vorwerk, Balsan, Desso, Quadrant
Vorwerk Balsan Desso Quadrant Cormar, Forbo, Milliken, Lifestyle Floors Cormar Forbo Milliken Headlam Lifestyle Floors
Brintons, Abingdon, Mohawk and Ege
Brintons Abingdon Mohawk Ege