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Recofloor flooring recycling champions celebrated

Recofloor, the UK’s vinyl flooring take-back scheme, celebrated success and its vinyl flooring recycling champions at its second annual awards and seminar event in April at The Building Research Establishment Innovation Park (BRE), Watford.

Flooring companies, contractors and distributors collected trophies and certificates in six major award categories plus Gold and Silver groupings at the ‘Recofloor – Closing the Loop’, event, which also featured key speakers covering sustainability topics across the flooring and construction sectors.

In the morning seminar session, Dr Jason Leadbitter, Sustainability & Compliance Manager at INEOS ChlorVinyls explored the key sustainability credentials of PVC for use in the construction sector. Other guest speakers included Richard Catt, Chief Executive Officer at the Contract Flooring Association and Mike Falconer-Hall of WRAP on Recofloor’s contribution to the Halving Waste to Landfill initiative.

Photo: Left to right – Geoff Cleverdon (Altro), Mark Merryweather (Hull Flooring), Rebecca Pridham (Alan Parker Flooring), Jamie Wilkins (Tingdene Homes), Mark Mulchinock (The Axiom Group), Ellen Bunting (CB Contracts) and John Whitesmith (Polyflor)

Since 2009 when it was founded by leading flooring manufacturers Altro and Polyflor, Recofloor has achieved great success in working with the supply chain to divert a total 785 tonnes of vinyl flooring waste from landfill. A 137% year on year increase of waste vinyl collected between 2010 (188 tonnes) and 2011 (447 tonnes) is testament to its tremendous achievement.

The Recofloor awards have been comprised principally from 2011 results, but also take into account those collectors who have made significant contributions to the scheme that warrant recognition. The awards were presented by directors of Recofloor’s founder companies, Altro and Polyflor, Geoff Cleverdon and John Whitesmith.

Essex-based The Apollo Group took Construction Company of the Year for their efforts on the Decent Homes project and ensuring that small quantities of vinyl flooring from a large geographic area are diverted away from landfill.

Birch Distribution scooped Distributor of the Year. As pioneers of the Recofloor scheme, Birch Distribution was the first distributor to join at its inception and its three sites in Hull, Sheffield and Leeds collected five tonnes for Recofloor in 2011.

It was a double celebration for long-standing Recofloor supporters Alan Parker Flooring, which won both the Contractor of the Year (sponsored by the Contract Flooring Association) and the Greatest Improvement Award – for a staggering 235% increase on their 2010 tonnage – an impressive achievement for the Peterborough family firm.

Sean Murphy, Construction Manager at Wates Retail, was crowned Recofloor Champion for his heavy involvement with recycling efforts in many projects. "His dedication and practical approach has resulted in 19.5 tonnes being diverted from landfill since 2009," said Matt Charlton, Recofloor Scheme Co-ordinator. "Sean’s support has also helped to extend collections to other Wates projects and those of their subcontractors."

Headlam Scotland, Motherwell, was named Best Newcomer. Since joining the scheme in May 2011 and as the first distributor to launch Recofloor in Scotland, it has been instrumental in helping the recycling story north of the border.

Sean Dawson, Managing Director of Hull Flooring collected the Outstanding Achievement Award which recognised their efforts in collecting 7.5% of the scheme’s 2011 447 tonnage.

Next were the Gold and Silver Award winners, calculated by the tonnage collected in relation to the average number of fitters the company employs. Gold award winners collected over a quarter of 2011’s 447 tonnes total between them.

Gold Award winners were named as Headlam Scotland, Motherwell; Nutland Carpets, Chandlers Ford,; Hull Flooring; Mayfield Floors, Stockport; Axiom Group, Alan Parker Flooring, Peterborough; Tingdene Homes, Wellingborough; Reform Flooring, Norwich; CB Contracts, Belfast.

Silver Award winners were: 3D Flooring Supplies, Cardiff; Kent Flooring, Chatham; Carpets n Carpets, Treorchy; Wates Retail; ISG Pearce, Biswell Flooring, London; The Flooring Co, Croydon; J&S Flooring, Leicester; Ross Hughes Flooring, Caernarfon; Neofloors, Cambridge; Alsim Building Systems, Hull; K Broadbent, Manchester; Roberts Flooring, Plymouth; The Apollo Group; Laing O’Rourke.

Recofloor Project Manager, Jane Gardner of Axion Consulting which manages the scheme, commented: "Once again, Recofloor members have demonstrated their unswerving commitment to maintaining high standards of uplifted, offcuts and safety flooring material for recycling in line with Recofloor specifications. The high quality and quantity of returned material means it can be diverted from landfill and reused in diverse applications from new flooring to traffic cones bases."

Jane added: "Recofloor continues to grow year on year, offering flexibility throughout the supply chain with a cost-effective and efficient collection system that has to date diverted 785 tonnes of waste vinyl flooring from landfill in just three years."

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