Innovate Recycle Ltd says it has exclusive use of a technology which will enable it to “mechanically deconstruct” carpets to extract original components, with the main one being polypropylene.
The technology is a closely guarded secret but has been described as a kinetic process, and is able to extract a range of materials from carpet.
The first line is being installed will be able to process 20,000 tonnes a year, and the company is hoping the entire plant will have a capacity of 70,000.
Innovate Recycle has been backed by more than £2 million from the South East Midlands LEP (SEMLEP) with the UK Government’s Getting Building Fund and private sector and individual investors.
In the short-term, once operational the plant’s gate fee will be similar to that of RDF/SRF, but the company hopes that by working with manufacturers it will be able to lower this in the coming years if carpet is made with recycling in mind.
We will supply an increasing amount of recycled polypropylene to the market
- Joseph Eccleston, Innovate Recycle
Joseph Eccleston, chief executive of Innovate Recycle, said: “With new UK legislation on recycled product and packaging content, such as the Plastic Packaging Tax coming into force, we are seeing a significant rise in the demand for recycled polypropylene.
“Innovate Recycle will respond to that demand and supply an increasing amount of rPP to the market. We have secured our first premises and will commence delivery from this new operating location in early autumn, allowing us to take end of life carpet and make our first rPP sales in 2022”.
Judith Barker, director of programmes and governance at SEMLEP, said: “SEMLEP supports the sustainable economic growth of Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes and we are particularly keen to grow the economy through innovation in sustainable solutions for waste. We are looking forward to seeing the new jobs and apprenticeships on site later this year”.
Innovate Recycle added that it will “create jobs for local people, connections with the local supply chain and is forecasting strong, scale-up growth”.
The plant has also received the backing of local councillors.
Councillor Jonathan Nunn, leader of West Northamptonshire council, said: “As well as the welcome economic investment that this exciting new venture brings to our area, it makes a great contribution to our bold sustainability ambitions, as set out in our newly launched sustainability strategy, by generating and keeping money within the local economy”.
Cllr Lizzy Bowen, West Northamptonshire council cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, added: “Our area has a strong history of innovation, and we welcome ground breakers like Innovate Recycle.
“The environmental sector is key to our future, both in terms of tackling climate change and establishing sustainable economic growth and it’s incredibly exciting to have a company at the forefront of its industry choosing West Northamptonshire as its base of operations”.