The latest news from Carpet Recycling UK

ACHIEVEMENTS: CRUK beats 25% diversion target two years early

Figures collected by Carpet Recycling UK show a record-breaking 107,000 tonnes of waste carpet were reused, recycled and recovered in the UK during 2013, up 21% (22,000 tonnes) on the previous year. This landfill diversion rate of 27% means that CRUK has exceeded its original 2008 target of '25% by 2015' two years early.

Graph showing carpet landfill diversion rate increaseThe proportion of the diverted carpet that was reused and recycled increased by 19% (or 7,000 tonnes) whilst that going to energy recovery rose by 3% (or 15,000 tonnes) in 2013 compared to 2012.

CRUK's work to encourage the diversion of end-of-life household carpets from landfill, via local authority Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and bulky waste collections appears to be having a significant impact: In two years the number of authorities separating carpets for reuse or recovery has tripled from 15 to 45, with segregated collections facilities now in operation at 200 HWRC sites. Recognition for its achievements came to CRUK last year with A Gold Award from Zero Waste.com and a Resource Revolution Award for Landfill Diversion Strategy.

An ambitious new landfill diversion target of 60% by 2020 has now been set. "We are confident that this can be reached given the steady increase in demand for carpets as a material stream over the past five years" said Director Laurance Bird. "Carpet is now regarded as a beneficial resource from which valuable raw materials can be extracted for reuse in a second life", he added.

Download a full list of CRUK's 2013 achievements and 2014 targets here.

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CONFERENCE: Launch of new Carpet Recycling UK Member Awards

CRUK Member Awards 2014For the first time, the Carpet Recycling UK Annual Conference in June will feature an awards ceremony, to recognise individuals and organisations that have made important contributions to the sector.

"So much work has been undertaken in the last few years to advance carpet recycling and re-use" explains CRUK Manager Jane Gardner. She continues: "Now that our 25% landfill diversion target has been exceeded, the time has come when we can celebrate the achievements of those who are leading the way in this field."

The awards are open to members of Carpet Recycling UK and will be presented in four categories:

  • Award for Innovation in Recycling: To recognise commitment to developing new systems and processes to recycle fibres from carpet waste.
  • Take Back Partner of the Year: For a distributor, flooring contractor or retailer member for achievements in recycling offcuts and/or uplifted carpet.
  • Re-use Member of the Year: To recognise the success of a re-use organisation in takeback and re-use of carpets.
  • Recycling Champion: For commitment within a company to set up systems and processes to increase carpet recycling at their site.

Read the full criteria for awards categories here. Entries should be submitted by 28 March 2014, by completing the online entry form here (external website). Winners will be announced at the CRUK conference at the IET in Birmingham on 24 June 2014.

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MUNICIPAL: CRUK success with bid to grow carpet recycling in London

Carpet Recycling UK has been awarded funding from the London Waste and Recycling Board's Textile Recycling Fund to lead a new project that will boost carpet recycling services across the capital.

Working in partnership with East London Waste Authority, West London Waste Authority, North London Waste Authority and Royal Borough of Greenwich, CRUK will facilitate the launch of new carpet collection facilities and broker links with recyclers to ensure that more carpets from bulky waste collections and HWRCs can be kept out of landfill.

CRUK joined the London Textile Forum in July 2013, soon after it was established by the London Waste and Recycling Board. Members are eligible to apply for funding from the Textile Recycling Fund for projects meeting the forum's objective of increasing the diversion of textile waste from landfill.

The project will run to the end of 2014, during which time the partnership authorities will roll out the new services and CRUK will monitor progress and then produce case studies to ensure that learning will be disseminated.

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MANUFACTURERS: ege achieves a world first with DS49001 standard

ege headquartersDanish company ege carpets (headquarters pictured) has recently announced that it is the first carpet manufacturer in the world to achieve Corporate Social Responsibility certification under the DS49001 standard, a key step in its stated objective to be a pioneer among carpet manufacturers in this field. ege is a core funder of Carpet Recycling UK.

DS49001 is a Danish version of the international ISO26000 standard, certifying that the company works responsibly in key areas such as management, human rights, environment and community involvement. Auditors Bureau Veritas noted the company's excellent implementation process and its longstanding commitment to CSR: "ege carpets has every reason to be proud of its efforts as a pioneering company," says Country Chief Executive Jacob Færgemand from Bureau Veritas.

"CSR is not just about things looking good on paper, but also concerns thinking about tomorrow and the Earth's resources" explains ege carpets' CEO, Svend Aage Færch Nielsen. "We can also see how customers are increasingly requiring companies to act responsibly. DS49001 is proof that we have optimised our CSR work. We are very proud of this", he adds.

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RE-USE: Greenstream doubles diversion and donates 20,000 carpet tiles

Last month, CRUK Member Greenstream Flooring CIC donated over five thousand square metres of re-used carpet to local people in a three-day carpet giveaway. The South Wales-based social enterprise, which specialises in the re-use and fitting of carpet tiles, made 5,138 square metres of carpet freely available to more than a hundred local residents and community groups during the event.

Over the course of 2013, Greenstream Flooring diverted a total of 85,486 m² or 526 tonnes of carpet tiles from landfill; over double the amount they diverted in the previous year. "Our innovative method of re-use via a network of community groups and social markets around the UK resulted in an enormous increase in our social and environmental outputs last year" said Ellen Petts, Greenstream MD.

This year will see Greenstream extend these networks further to offer a national re-use waste management service to end-users and the FM sector, with new sites opening in Blackburn, East London and North Wales in early 2014.

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RETAILERS: Beds Flooring recycled 10 tonnes of carpet installation offcuts in 2013

Beds Flooring logoBeds Flooring launched their take back of fitting offcuts for carpet in 2013 following extensive research amongst their customers to determine the value of this new service. Over the past year 10 tonnes of carpet installation offcuts have been sorted and returned by fitters as they collect new carpets.

More than 20 customers are now regularly returning clean offcuts and sorting them into two streams, 'wool blends' and 'polypropylene'. This service has proven to be particularly beneficial for customers involved in commercial work such as flats, rental properties, student accommodation or small local businesses. Sustainability credentials can boost sales for commercial contracts.

The carpet installation offcuts are bagged and collected by CRUK core funder member Abingdon Flooring when they deliver new carpets. Wool blends can be recycled into carpet underlay and the polypropylene recycled into plastic products. Anthony Rising says "we are pleased with the advice and service offered by Abingdon to enable us to help our customers recycle".

If you would like to know more about this local opportunity to increase your business sustainability and reduce your disposal costs please contact Anthony on 01234 341234.

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CONTRACTORS: Designer Contracts takes off with carpet recycling

CRUK member, Designer Contracts, the UK's largest flooring contractor with 12 regional depots, has established the take back and recycling of carpet installation offcuts. Fibres will be extracted from the offcuts by members of Carpet Recycling UK and converted back into new carpet underlay keeping valuable material in the carpet loop.

Following successful pilot trials at four bulking points nationwide using Designer Contracts transport fleet, logistics have been optimised. Fitters segregate carpet offcuts and bring them back to the depots daily where they are stored dry and collected by the recycler regularly. It is estimated that hundreds of tonnes of carpet will be kept out of landfills and recycled in 2014.

A baler has also been installed at the central warehouse in Corby where more than £2 million stockholding is held. All packaging materials as well as carpet offcuts will be baled for recycling as part of the company sustainability initiatives.

Peter Kelsey of Designer Contracts said "we are very grateful to Abingdon Flooring and Cormar Carpets for introducing us to Carpet Recycling UK and their specialist recycling members to produce this result".

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The following companies provide the core funding for Carpet Recycling UK:

Vorwerk Carpets, Balsan, Desso, Quadrant Carpets
Vorwerk Balsan Desso Quadrant Cormar Carpets, Forbo Flooring, Milliken Contract, Lifestyle Floors Cormar Forbo Milliken Headlam Lifestyle Floors
Marlings, Abingdon Flooring, Mohawk Group and ege Carpets
Marlings Abingdon Mohawk Ege