Carpet Recycling UK has recognised its core funders in enabling the industry body to triumph in key areas and exceed its 2015 goal with a 31% landfill diversion rate for waste carpet.
In 2015, 125,000 tonnes of carpet was reused recycled or covered for energy by CRUK. The organisation achieved a 31% landfill rate, surpassing its 25% target set at the beginning of 2008.
Around 400,00 tonnes of waste carpet arises each year in the UK. Of the 125,000 diverted, energy recovery accounted for 81,000 tonnes (65%) and 44,000 tonnes (35%) were recycled. Growth was up by 11% compared to 2014 (113,000 tonnes diverted from landfill).
CRUK director Laurance Bird praised the commitment and support of the group’s core funders and members, commenting: “Diverting waste carpet from landfill is now firmly established with new recyclers focusing on this material stream and existing recyclers adding capacity based on increased demands from local authorities and waste management companies.”
Energy recovery is a growing sector for waste carpet in which it is used as an alternative fuel replacement in cement kilns as well as for incineration with energy recovery from municipal solid waste (MSW).
Retailers and flooring contractors are now changing their waste disposal practices by recycling carpet offcuts and uplifted old carpets to gain significant cost savings.
In 2015, enquiries from the flooring sector increase by 96% to 280 and overall enquiries were up 15% to 780 – reflecting greater awareness that carpet can avoid being landfilled.
CRUK has also provided advice and guidance to local authorities including the London Waste and Recycling Board, demonstrating further potential to increase the cycling of carpets throughout the metropolitan area and other communities.
Laurance continued that authorities across the country have welcomed the opportunity to grow their recycling rates as the EU’s MSW targets for 2020 approach. He added: “Finding sustainable and practical alternatives to landfill for bulky carpet waste will certainly help to ease the pressure in meeting these challenging future goals.”
CRUK is continuing to gather information on new technologies to extract maximum value from the raw materials in carpet. The organisation is also broadening its experience through liasing with handlers of other challenging composite waste streams, particularly the plastics sector.
In the second annual Carpet Recycling Awards, the body recognised the innovations achieved by the specialist carpet reuse and recycling members across a broad range of categories. Companies use these awards to demonstrate their capabilities with customers who are increasingly demanding sustainability credentials.
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