More work is needed to find higher value outlets for carpet recycling and reuse, a trade association for the sector has suggested.
Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK), which represents the UK’s carpet manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, claims that more councils and retailers are able to find outlets for waste carpets in reuse, recycling and energy recovery – meaning lower disposal costs.
The association suggests that landfill diversion of carpets has increased from 2% in 2008 when the association was founded to 28% in 2014. CRUK has set itself a national target of 60% by 2020.
In 2012, UK carpet manufacturers achieved zero waste to landfill, in part through sending more material to energy from waste. On the recycling and reuse side, initial success with recycling of edge trims and offcuts has prompted CRUK’s core funders to find outlets for clean manufacturing waste and achieve zero production waste.
Aided by CRUK, they sought outlets for post-installation waste followed by post-consumer material.
Laurance Bird, director of CRUK, said: “Our work to date means we can now effectively offer the whole ‘circular’ package. Manufacturers are helping their customers with their clients’ waste carpet, while examining how their own products can be improved with sustainability in mind.
“With valued support from our core funders and members, we continue to do a great job but more support is critical.”
Mr Bird went on to recognise the commitment and contribution from the core funders and members of the association and thanked them for “providing the vital impetus to the recycling and landfill diversion cause”.
CRUK’s core funders are Cormar Carpets, Lifestyle Floors/Headlam, Desso, Ege, Milliken, Balsan and Marlings.
Keith Hall, technical manager at Desso added: “Desso are proud to have been associated with CRUK since the organisation was founded over five years ago and remain committed as a core funder. Our association and exchange of expertise and ideas has been central to our successful carpet tile Take Back programme in the UK. This has reflected our strong growth in the commercial business in a very positive way and is fully integrated into our long term Cradle to Cradle objectives.”
Robert Barker, Cormar’s finance director, said: “We’re seeing more value as the carpet waste market develops, due to CRUK’s active work; plus our customers’ businesses are now beginning to benefit too.”