Recofloor Newsletter 6
Recofloor Vinyl Flooring Recycling Scheme Marks First Anniversary
September 2010 marks the first anniversary of the nationwide launch of Recofloor - the UK’s first vinyl flooring recycling scheme. As members will know, it was founded by leading flooring manufacturers Altro and another manufacturer to tackle growing volumes of waste sent to landfill.
Recofloor is a unique example of two major competitors working collaboratively to promote the sustainability of their product – a major achievement and an important step for the vinyl flooring sector as a whole. Vinyl flooring waste is recycled back into new flooring products as well as traffic management equipment such as cones and sign bases.
In the past 12 months, the industry-led take-back initiative has collected and recycled 155 tonnes of smooth uplifted vinyl and safety flooring and off-cuts. Around 175 tonnes is projected for the coming year, representing a 15% increase year on year.
Recofloor’s 242 active members across the UK and Ireland comprise of flooring contractors, drop-off sites at flooring distributors and waste transfer stations, as well as construction projects at schools, hospitals and leading retail stores.
Recofloor Project Manager Jane Gardner of Axion Consulting, the scheme’s agents, is delighted with the success saying: “Having created a free-standing industry scheme, the next challenge was to develop a sustainable, cost-effective and efficient collection system.”
“This is now a reality with large volumes of flooring being diverted from landfill - benefiting the environment and reducing waste disposal costs for members.”
The Recofloor Award Scheme was set up to reward members for the quality and volume of waste vinyl flooring material collected. Members earn points according to both the number of pallets of material collected and the size of the company. The top five companies so far are shown in the table here:
The winners of the 2010 Recofloor Gold, Silver and Bronze awards will be announced in January.
Sonia Baker, Environment Market Manager at Polyflor, comments: “We're really pleased with the momentum and progress of Recofloor and look forward to seeing the scheme further evolve with even more contractors and distributors on board and an increase in tonnages of waste vinyl flooring being recovered and recycled.”
Tracy Perry, Sustainability and Environmental Advisor at Altro adds: “One year on from the launch of Recofloor, we’re delighted with the scheme’s progress. It’s really encouraging to see that significant volumes of waste are being diverted from landfill. We’re confident that the scheme will go from strength to strength, increasing collection volumes year after year. The success of Recofloor is a testament to what can be achieved through industry collaboration.”
With the recent legislative introduction of site waste management plans and as landfill tax and sustainability concerns increase, more and more flooring contractors and construction companies are keen to see their end–of–life flooring recycled. Recofloor offers a ‘one-stop’ solution to vinyl flooring collection and recovery and is being specified as an outlet in many major public and private sector tenders, for example hospitals and leisure centres.
Looking ahead, other flooring manufacturers will be invited to join Recofloor, further improving its long term economic sustainability and running costs, while increasing collection volumes significantly.
Which Materials Does The Recofloor Scheme Collect?
Recofloor has a specific list of waste materials that it can and cannot accept (see the Recofloor
Information Sheet). Items other than those in the ‘Yes please’ column can cause serious problems so it is really important to follow the guidelines. If the materials collected are contaminated by other forms of waste it can hinder or even prevent us from recycling the flooring. Metal, blades, bolts, wire, nails/ screws, glass, cable ties, cans/bottles, plastic bags, food waste, paper/newspapers, rubber/rubber flooring, brick, plaster, gripper rods and handles have all been found amongst the material collected under the Recofloor scheme and these items can cause a great deal of damage to recyclers’ reprocessing equipment.
Liquids such as paint, lacquer, water and adhesives must not be placed in Recofloor bins or bags.
Flooring material contaminated with liquids cannot be recycled and the whole bin or bag of waste is rendered unusable.
If you are in any doubt as to whether you are collecting the correct materials, we have a dedicated waste consultant who can advise on this issue. Please contact the team for further details.
- Post installation, clean vinyl off-cuts
- Safety flooring off-cuts
- Old stock vinyl roll-ends (either smooth or safety)
- Smooth uplifted flooring - depending on condition and quality
- Cushion flooring
- Other flooring, including laminate, carpet and linoleum or flooring with jute/fabric backing
- General waste and rubble
- Metals including nuts, bolts, nails & screws.
For specification details call Axion (+44 161 355 7618) and ask for Recofloor
Download a PDF version of the sixth issue of the Recofloor newsletter .