More and more retailers are signing up to recycle their carpet waste as they recognise the twin benefits of potential disposal cost savings and the ability to offer an enhanced customer service, according to Carpet Recycling UK.
Increased numbers of outlets throughout the UK accepting all types of waste carpet for re-use or recycling along with innovative and diverse end uses for the material are contributing to greater diversion of this bulky waste from landfill. In Yorkshire and Lancashire, retailers have the opportunity to recycle their post-installation off-cuts.
CRUK, the industry-backed association for recycling and reusing waste carpet, attracted interest from more than 125 people who visited its stand and seminar programme at September’s Harrogate Flooring Show.
It also announced that Flooring One, a subsidiary of Associated Independent Stores (AIS) which is one of the biggest central buying and marketing organisations in the country, has joined Carpet Recycling UK as an associate member.
“This year’s event revealed significant raised awareness of CRUK’s activities and it was apparent that the perception and profile of CRUK had risen substantially during 2012,” commented CRUK Director Laurance Bird after the three-day event. “This is tremendously encouraging as we work towards our target of 25% landfill diversion by 2015.”
Extensive pilot trials involving sorting and collection of post-installation wastes are being evaluated by Carpet Recycling UK members to optimise the logistics cost and effectiveness of various methods.
Laurance said that increased levels of enquiries and interest revealed the sector is recognising that carpet waste is an issue and is more willing to explore carpet recycling ideas than ever before. Concern over cost of disposal of carpet waste, plus a desire to demonstrate ‘green’ credentials and differentiate their business in competitive consumer markets were recurring themes among retailers.
“It was obvious that carpet waste is a serious issue for the flooring sector and retailers are keen to take positive action.� They are recognising the twin benefits of take-back schemes for installation offcuts that can reduce their disposal costs and the ability to position themselves as more environmentally-friendly businesses.
“In tough economic times, they want to stand out from their competitors and offer an enhanced service to consumers, who in turn are concerned about the responsible disposal of carpet waste and are welcoming carpet recycling initiatives,” added Laurance.
“Carpet Recycling UK has changed the perception of carpet waste for the better; it is a raw material resource that can be given a ‘second life’. Awareness has grown to the point where it is very unusual for people not to have heard of Carpet Recycling UK. Our message is certainly hitting home!”
CRUK also hosted a one-hour seminar where guest speakers shared their waste carpet recycling experiences and highlighted novel end uses for the material. Lee Bridge from CRUK member Anglo Recycling explained how carpet edge trims and fitters’ off-cuts could be used to manufacture felts for flooring, horticulture and the geo-textile, automotive and acoustic industries; diverting 600 tonnes from landfill in 2011.
Jane Gardner, of Axion Consulting, which manages CRUK, outlined the challenges of tackling the 400,000 tonnes of waste carpet arising annually in the UK of which 83.5% still ends up in landfill.
“With 32 carpet recycling outlets across the UK, opportunities are growing fast for retailers to divert their fitting waste and uplifted old carpets from landfill. The message is definitely getting through and retailers were very interested to hear more about take-back opportunities. We are delighted that retailers are taking action with tangible benefits for themselves, their customers and the environment,” she said.
CRUK welcomes enquiries from new members interested in driving new uses for waste carpet and can be contacted on 0161 440 8325 or visit www.carpetrecyclinguk.com.