Recofloor members celebrated their record-breaking vinyl recycling achievements at the scheme’s fifth annual awards event at Old Trafford, the Home of Manchester United, in March.
Flooring companies, contractors and distributors have collected more than 2,700 tonnes of vinyl flooring – including 508 tonnes in 2015 alone – since the UK take-back scheme was founded by leading flooring manufacturers Polyflor and Altro in 2009 to divert waste material from landfill.
The main winners were Carpets ‘N’ Carpets Ltd, 3D Flooring Supplies/ MCD Wales/ Flooring Accessories, S&D Flooring Specialists Ltd, STS Flooring Distributors Ltd, Fantasy Flooring Ltd, Mezmirizin Flooring Ltd, Birch Distribution and Branagan Flooring Services.
Winners received their trophies and certificates from guest host and former Southampton and England footballer Matt Le Tissier who was clearly impressed and commented: “Manufacturers collaborating in this way to improve the sustainability of their products must be unique. It’s fantastic for the environment: a win-win situation!”
Intense competition in all eight award categories, plus the volume and high quality of entries, made the judging a difficult process. Entries were judged mainly on last year’s achievements, while also recognising collectors’ significant contributions in various ways.
Carpets ‘N’ Carpets Ltd of Treorchy won Contractor of the Year for demonstrating exceptional commitment to collecting clean material – more than eight tonnes in 2015 – and regularly briefing staff on the importance of separating material for recycling.
Distributors play a significant role in the scheme’s success by extending their services to allow fitters to drop off smaller volumes of waste vinyl flooring at their sites. 3D Flooring Supplies; MCD Wales, Flooring Accessories ‘blew the judges away’ with an impressive 58 tonnes of material collected and was named the Distributor of the Year for helping their customers and Recofloor to return material via backhaul in the most environmentally sustainable way.
S&D Flooring Specialists Ltd received Best Newcomer for embracing the scheme very quickly at its Hull premises and clear understanding of the far-reaching benefits of using Recofloor.
Greatest Improver went to STS Flooring Distributors Ltd, Watford for its worthy increase in tonnage collected compared to the previous year.
Nominated by his employer, Mark Purnell of Fantasy Flooring Ltd, Bristol was named Recofloor Champion for his ‘passionate attitude to recycling and the environment’. As the driving force behind Recofloor at the business, he took the company from recycling absolutely nothing to not only recycling vinyl flooring, but all other waste streams.
Mezmirizin Flooring Ltd of Cardiff scooped Drop-Off Site User of the Year, having stood out for providing tool box talks to staff and including Recofloor in their processes and tenders.
Birch Distribution, Hull – the first distributor to join Recofloor – clinched the Outstanding Achievement Award for collecting a ‘staggering’ 46 tonnes of material during 2015. Forty tonnes was collected from one branch alone and they have taken the scheme to a whole new level all of their own accord.
The final award; the Long-Standing Service Award was presented to Branagan Flooring Services for their strong belief in Recofloor and commitment to it since joining in 2010.
Directors Bob Smith of Polyflor and Altro’s John Patsavellas both expressed their delight that ‘more and more companies are recognising the wider benefits of Recofloor, not just in connection with cost savings, but also with regard to enhancing their business offering and increasing their environmental sustainability’.
Thanking members, John said their ‘commitment and engagement is central to the success of the scheme’. “Altro, like Polyflor, is proud to be a founder of this scheme, which is a core part of both our sustainability programmes. Recofloor as a scheme leads the way across the Europe. We have a ‘world first’ in collaboration that has created a scheme that really works. As Recofloor continues to evolve, others will find it very difficult to replicate.”
Material collected by Recofloor’s 700-strong membership is recycled back into products, including new flooring, which benefits the environment and can reduce collectors’ waste disposal costs by up to 70%. The scheme accepts smooth and safety vinyl offcuts, uplifted smooth vinyl, roll ends and luxury vinyl tiles (LVT).
Involving staff with Recofloor and its sustainable aims through activities such as Toolbox Talks and introducing new recruits to the scheme as part of the induction process has been a great success, according to Anthony Francis, Managing Director of Mayfield Floors.
“Hosting a Recofloor event where the team can answer questions, especially on technical issues, is another great way to engage with staff. Since bringing these procedures in, we have seen remarkable results to a point where our staff bought into the idea of the scheme and are now very proactive in the collection process,” he said.
Recofloor Manager Jane Gardner, who showed the new Recofloor video on how the scheme works, praised members’ achievements and urged them to ‘keep the momentum going’. She said: “As a unique scheme, Recofloor is at the heart of the Circular Economy and shares these principles in recovering resources for reuse, where possible, in high value products. Everyone should be proud of what’s been achieved and we are striving to do even more.”
Key speakers from the flooring industry also included Richard Catt, CEO of the Contract Flooring Association and Ian James from FITA.
Richard commented: “Sustainability and waste management are extremely important to our industry and Recofloor makes a significant contribution. Winning a Recofloor award is an achievement that is growing in recognition and an important addition to any company’s profile. So congratulations should go to all the winners – particularly the significant number who are CFA members!”
A total of 29 firms received Gold and Silver Awards based on the amount of material collected per fitter.
Gold Award winners included: 3D Flooring Supplies (Cardiff); Birch Distribution (Hull); Breydon Flooring Ltd (Great Yarmouth); Carpet & Flooring (Manchester); FMI Contracts Ltd (London); Mayfield Floors (Stockport); MCD Wales (Bridgend); Parsons Carpets & Flooring Specialists (Gloucestershire); Portakabin Group (York); Reform Flooring Ltd (Norwich); Top Floors (East Anglia) Ltd (Ipswich).
Silver Award winners were: AA Flooring Ltd (Bleadon); Alsim System Building Ltd (Hull); Ashmount Flooring Supplies Ltd (London); Birch Distribution (Sheffield); Branagan Flooring Services Ltd (Manchester); Carpets ‘N’ Carpets Ltd (Treorchy); Elements Europe (Telford); The Hull Flooring Co Ltd (Hull); Kent Flooring Supplies Ltd (Kent); Key Floors Ltd (Hampshire); Middlesex Flooring Ltd (Middlesex); N&S Flooring Bristol Ltd; Nutland Carpets Accessories Ltd (Chandlers Ford); Oxden Floors Ltd (Kent); Rudge Brothers and James Ltd (Bristol); Ross Hughes Flooring Ltd (Caernarfon): Stanground Carpets & Flooring Ltd (Peterborough); Status Flooring Ltd (Dorset).