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Design For Flooring Recycling

INSPIRING manufacturers to design new carpet products for recycling or reuse at end of life was a key theme at Carpet Recycling UK’s sixth annual conference, in Birmingham in June.
The 2014 event saw delegates networking at the pre-conference dinner, sponsored for the third year by Invista, manufacturer of Antron carpet fibres, followed by the conference focussing on resources for the circular economy.
A record of almost 100 delegates were from different sectors, including waste management and retail, plus contractors and those wanting to become carpet recyclers.
The CRUK awards ceremony recognised members’ innovation and achievements, both as individuals and organisations. There were 18 shortlisted companies across four categories. The panel of independent judges including Richard Catt, ceo of the CFA and Ray Georgeson of the Resource Association.
The results (winner and runner up) were: Innovation in recycling: Desso (winner) and Anglo Recycling Technology; Take back partner of the year: Anglo Recycling Technology (winner) and Abingdon Flooring; Re-use member of the year: Greenstream Flooring CIC (winner) and Carpet Tile Recycling; Recycling champion: Tony Winder, owner of Winder Carpets (winner) and Mike Collins, operations manager at Abingdon Flooring.
‘The quality of nominations made choosing the winners difficult for our judges,’ commented CRUK director Laurance Bird.
‘Having exceeded our 25% landfill diversion target two years early, it was the right time to celebrate the achievements of those who have made real advancements in carpet recycling and re-use.
‘CRUK is now well-established enough to host an annual awards ceremony. Congratulations to everyone!’
Among presentations from CRUK manufacturing members were Abingdon Flooring, Forbo (material recovery) and Milliken (sustainability progress) who shared their exp

ertise and achievements to date in increasing the sustainability of their products.
‘We hope the extent of both these companies’ successes will inspire others to do more in terms of designing products that can be more readily recycled or reused at end of life,’ Laurance added. ‘To achieve our next target of diverting 60% carpet waste from landfill by 2020, we need to look at how we design the sustainable products of the future and how easily they can be recycled.’
This message was also the theme of the RSA’s (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) Sophie Thomas whose talk on ‘Redesigning Products and Systems for the Circular Economy’ explored how new approaches to sustainability issues could improve value and resource recovery from the flooring sector.
Delegates also heard from CRUK’s newest member, The John Lewis Partnership whose Mike Walters, Group Manager for Waste and Water Resource, gave an update on the national roll-out of the department store’s carpet off-cuts recycling scheme with CRUK member Anglo Recycling. What started out as a trial has gained popularity and momentum with retailers and it is now being expanded nationwide.
Other sessions examined technological developments, recycling and collection schemes and insights from several recyclers into their experiences and successes, along with talks on manufacturing and sustainability issues within the waste hierarchy. International speakers included Bob Peoples, executive director of the US-based Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE).
Laurance concluded: ‘Our annual conference has become a valuable forum for sharing ideas, innovation and successes. Having made great strides towards encouraging treatment of carpet waste as a resource rather than a waste material destined for landfill, challenges still lie ahead. Designing carpets with recycling in mind is the next big step.’
Since its 2008 formation, CRUK has helped to transform attitudes to the 400,000 tonnes of carpet waste created in the UK annually. Carpet Recycling UK welcomes enquiries from organisations wanting to find new outlets for waste carpet. Contact Marie Rhodes: n T: 0161 440 8325

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at