Recofloor

Recofloor can assist with zero waste targets

  • 31 Mar 2023

Collaboration with Recofloor can assist architects, specifiers and construction companies with minimising CO2 emissions and help towards achieving zero waste targets on projects where vinyl flooring is being specified.

With growing pressure on the construction industry to reduce its carbon footprint, Recofloor offers a sustainable, straightforward and affordable solution to reduce and recycle the waste generated from project sites.

Set up in 2009 by flooring manufacturers Altro and Polyflor to preserve vinyl flooring circularity, Recofloor is a reliable take-back collection service for this recyclable material. Collecting vinyl flooring through Recofloor ensures waste vinyl flooring gets a second life beyond the product’s first use, saving on raw material resources and recovering PVC for future reuse. 

Getting involved with Recofloor is a straightforward process. Architects and specifiers can specify Recofloor on their project tender documents for both uplifted vinyl materials being discarded during a refurbishment project and for waste vinyl offcuts created during the project.

The scheme can then be deployed by anyone involved in the project and flooring contractors can be briefed by a Recofloor representative for proper collection of the material. We can attend meetings to explain how the scheme works to the team onsite, which will facilitate smooth collections. Bulk waste can be collected in one go, or at stages during a project. 

Relationships

Building a relationship with Recofloor is beneficial for specifiers, explains Scheme Manager Carla Eslava.

“When specifiers come on board with us, they can use Recofloor as proof of their efforts towards achieving zero waste targets, for minimising their projects’ CO2 emissions and for adopting greener work practices,” she says.

Recofloor

“We can also provide a Statement Letter which certifies your participation, including volumes diverted from landfill.

“As a collection service for commercial waste vinyl flooring, Recofloor offers savings on carbon emissions and waste disposal, so it’s friendly to the environment as well as to your project costs.”

The UK-wide scheme collects a range of flooring types, such as Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVTs), smooth, safety and loose lay vinyl offcuts, roll-ends as well as uplifted smooth and loose lay vinyl. Altro and Polyflor support the scheme by using their vehicles to backhaul the Recofloor collections, where possible, when new flooring is delivered.

All the material collected by Recofloor goes back to Polyflor and Altro’s UK plants for sorting. Suitable material is recycled into new flooring, while the rest is sent to a UK recycler for use in traffic management products, such as traffic cones and sign bases.

What are the carbon savings?

Recofloor has calculated that, on average, recycling PVC flooring through its scheme is estimated to save 1.17 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of flooring recycled. This calculation is based on displacing the concrete in traffic management products, the primary application for the recycled flooring.

For example, a typical 2,000 square metre installation project generates just over half a tonne of waste vinyl flooring, the equivalent to cover three average-sized UK classrooms. Collecting this material in Recofloor bulk bags would cost £52.50 versus £255 for an eight cubic yard skip. This represents a saving of around £202.50 or 79% when using Recofloor.

Since Recofloor’s inception in 2009, a total of 6,570 tonnes of waste vinyl flooring has been collected through the scheme. This equates to 2,190,000m2 of flooring – enough to cover 36,500 average-sized UK classrooms or 230 hospital patient wards – and CO2 savings of 7,707 tonnes. By deploying Recofloor on multiple projects, the savings add up.

Waste regulations are also covered through the Recofloor scheme. The provision of Recofloor collection containers at flooring distributors and project sites for the collection of vinyl flooring falls under the Non-Waste Framework Directive exemption NWFD 4 category for temporary storage at a collection point.

For example, if material is collected from a project’s site, Recofloor will share a waste carrier licence for material transportation, waste exemption to where the material is taken for sorting – as well as a waste transfer note for each collection.

In conclusion, Carla highlights how wider initiatives being undertaken by the flooring industry to become more sustainable are driving improvements in terms of manufacturers’ material content and design. Contractors are also changing their practices and are increasingly sourcing more sustainable materials and environmentally friendly services – all to reduce their environmental impact.

‘Choose right’

She adds: “These actions are admirable, and it is great to see more companies adding take-back schemes to their project tender documents.

“We believe that specifying Recofloor on vinyl flooring projects will maximise these efforts and support the industry even more. So, please get in touch to discuss your project plans with regards to specifying and deploying the scheme.

“Ultimately, if you want your project to be more sustainable, you need to choose right, choose Recofloor.”

For more information on the scheme, a cost calculator and case studies on a variety of commercial projects, visit www.recofloor.org or contact Recofloor on 0161 355 7618 or at [email protected].

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