Collections of waste vinyl flooring from construction projects through the Recofloor take back scheme are rising as more firms recognise the economic and environmental benefits of recycling.
Founded by manufacturers Altro and Polyflor to divert uplifted material and installation offcuts from landfill for use in new products, the scheme is having a significant impact on sustainability within the building industry.
Vinyl flooring from hospitals, schools and major housing and retail projects can be recycled through Recofloor, helping construction companies to achieve their Zero Waste targets. The scheme also helps with waste management plans on site and saves on disposal costs.
Recofloor’s Project Manager Jane Gardner commented: "This is an expanding sector with collections from construction sites comprising more than half our annual tonnages. Now that the national collection and recycling infrastructure is in place to handle waste vinyl flooring from all types of construction projects, large or small, building companies have everything to gain by using a sustainable and cost-saving alternative to landfill," she said.
A suite of case studies on the Recofloor website demonstrate how the scheme works at various building and refurbishment projects, including examples from national new build, regeneration and property services company Keepmoat, Wates Retail and North Staffordshire Hospital.
Working with Keepmoat’s Regeneration division in the South East, Recofloor collects vinyl flooring from a wide geographical area. Project managers use the scheme on a number of refurbishment sites, including a major multi-million pound homes refurbishment scheme managed by Genesis Housing Association in East Finchley, London.
Material from kitchens and bathrooms is segregated according to Recofloor specification and stored in bulk bags on pallets in a dedicated area on site prior to collection as required. Using the bags helps installers to keep work areas tidier, as well as saving on skip hire costs and space on site. Up to three tonnes of uplifted vinyl flooring and off-cuts a month are collected.
Wates Retail has recycled more than 30 tonnes of vinyl offcuts across 60-plus Marks & Spencer sites through Recofloor. Floorlayers collect material on a daily basis and deposit this in one-tonne bags at the depot, from where it is collected by Recofloor for recycling into traffic cones.
Axiom Contract Flooring Group, one of the UK’s leading floorcovering installers, recovered more than 37.5 tonnes of off-cuts from the now-completed £400 million development of North Staffordshire Hospital in Newcastle-under-Lyme – one of the largest PFI health care projects in the UK.
Several project benefits included providing a focus for operatives, with the daily vinyl collection regime encouraging them to keep their workplaces tidy. Reduced waste volumes led to lower disposal costs for main contractor Laing O’Rourke Construction.
Recofloor participants are awarded Certificates of Commitment – demonstrable proof of ‘Green credentials’ that help construction firms to develop their business, especially among clients with established corporate sustainability programmes.