South Wales-based Commercial Flooring Contractors Ltd won the 2021 Project of the Year award in the annual Recofloor Awards for their dedication to collecting waste vinyl flooring for recycling from temporary NHS Rainbow Hospitals – a 290-bed facility at Wales Rugby Union’s National Centre of Excellence in Cardiff and the Parc Y Scarlets Rugby Stadium in Llanelli.
The hospitals were set up in 2020 to provide invaluable beds and equipment to treat coronavirus patients, if needed, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial Flooring Contractors Ltd specialises in commercial and public sector flooring projects, including a lot of work for the NHS. Since joining Recofloor eight years ago, it recycles all waste vinyl flooring through the waste vinyl flooring take back scheme.
Early on in the pandemic, their 34-strong team worked tirelessly for eight weeks laying Polyflor vinyl safety flooring at four field hospital sites in South Wales.
When the temporary NHS facilities were decommissioned, having fortunately not received any coronavirus patients, Commercial Flooring Contractors MD Chris Hutchings specified the use of Recofloor at the sites.
“Having continually used Recofloor for many years, it was an obvious choice to deploy the scheme on these hospital projects. Recycling is part of our ethics, so it makes complete sense to recycle this flooring and prevent it from being landfilled,” he says.
More than 11 tonnes of uncontaminated recyclable waste vinyl were collected for recycling.
Chris comments: “It’s great to get the recognition with this Recofloor award, which acknowledges the environmental efforts of flooring sector participants across the UK. And it’s a pat on the back for my lads as well.”
The biggest challenge for Chris and his 34-strong floor-laying team was the speed, and working socially distanced alongside other trades on site.
“The speed at which these temporary hospitals had to be up and made operational made this not only challenging, but also very rewarding too,” he adds.
Set up in 2009 by flooring manufacturers Altro and Polyflor, Recofloor is the flooring sector’s sustainable take-back scheme for commercial waste vinyl generated from all types of projects. The material is recycled and used in new products, including flooring.
The restrictions, large volumes of material for collection and staffing constraints also presented a challenge for the Recofloor team, according to Recofloor Project Manager, Carla Eslava.
She comments: “The judging panel agreed unanimously that these projects were of great importance. As they were established with the support of local authorities, the military and other contractors, it is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively due to their multi-disciplinary nature.
“Sustainability also played a major role as the flooring was loose lay and did not require adhesive, so it could all be recycled. Recofloor was happy to play its part and recover this material for recycling.”
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