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Success on large project sites with Recofloor

Are you working with vinyl flooring on large project sites? Carla Eslava explains how the UK-wide take-back collection scheme delivers environmental and cost-saving benefits for participants.

IN the past decade or so, the flooring industry has increasingly recognised the importance of considering sustainability in its business operations. Specifying sustainable products and services benefits not only the company that has implemented these actions, but also the wider community in recycling and reusing valuable resources that helps preserve the environment.

Flooring companies and contractors involved with vinyl flooring, especially on larger commercial projects, can align their businesses along more sustainable objectives by engaging with Recofloor, which offers a sustainable, straightforward and affordable solution to reduce and recycle the waste generated from project sites.

Set up in 2009 by flooring manufacturers Altro and Polyflor to preserve vinyl flooring circularity, Recofloor is a reliable take-back collection service for this recyclable material. Collecting vinyl flooring through Recofloor ensures waste vinyl flooring gets a second life beyond the product’s first use, saving on raw material resources and recovering PVC for future reuse.

Participation in the scheme not only helps the industry to reduce its environmental impact, but it’s also good for your business. Collecting acceptable commercial vinyl flooring waste for recycling, versus sending it to landfill, can save up to 75% on waste disposal costs, such as skip hire and gate fees.

By deploying the Recofloor scheme on multiple projects, the benefits and savings can add up.
The impetus for Altro and Polyflor to establish Recofloor came from a desire to divert waste vinyl flooring from landfill and recycle the material in new flooring and other products.

The two manufacturers are heavily committed to their respective sustainable approaches by developing sustainable flooring materials that are more readily recyclable and working collaboratively to fund and grow the Recofloor scheme throughout the UK.

Recofloor: View from ‘the floor’
The Recofloor team regularly produces case studies to highlight and share participants’ achievements, as well as demonstrate how the flooring industry can benefit from using the scheme. On the Recofloor website at www.recofloor.org, you can find numerous examples of where the scheme has been successfully deployed on all types of projects.

A recent deployment for Recofloor’s onsite collection service for NHS Grampian’s new Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre was secured by Veitchi Flooring. With 23,000sq m of Polyflor vinyl to be laid, the typical 10% expectation for offcuts meant a likely project wastage of 2,300sq m – an area similar to the size of 10 tennis courts. It’s estimated to save about 2,300sq m of vinyl offcuts from landfill by the time the project finishes.

Having previously used Recofloor for collections and recognising that offcut disposal would present a major environmental challenge, Veitchi deployed the scheme with support from main contractor GRAHAM Construction.

Ed Murison, Veitchi Flooring contracts manager says the Recofloor scheme makes it simple for them to play their part in driving change and introducing green initiatives. He adds: ‘Recycling vinyl is a no-brainer. We will definitely be using Recofloor’s onsite collection service for other large projects in future!’

Fiona Walker, GRAHAM Construction’s environmental advisor comments that Veitchi’s use of the Recofloor scheme is a ‘great example of how supply chain support can help us reach our target of a 50% reduction in construction waste by 2030’.

Another project, a school in Cornwall highlighted the collaborative success between three parties in making Recofloor work to collect waste vinyl offcuts for recycling, rather than being sent to landfill. The flooring – 165sq m of Altro Wood adhesive-free – was fitted by Andrew Stevens of All Floors Cornwall at Newquay Tretherras School.Camborne-based JDS Properties & Developments completed three new classrooms and a kitchen extension. Director Jonathan Rogers was made aware of the Recofloor scheme through Andrew, their flooring contractor, who’d already used Recofloor on several projects.

Jonathan states that Recofloor fits in with their company philosophy to move towards being more carbon zero and environmentally friendly in their operations, adding: ‘Collecting the waste vinyl flooring for recycling through Recofloor also helps with our disposal costs, making us more cost-effective and, of course, helping the environment.’

Andrew comments: ‘I fit a lot of Altro and Polyflor flooring. It’s easy for me to take the waste vinyl to my distributor’s premises owing to proximity rather than paying for someone to take it or put it in a skip. The scheme saves me money because it costs a fortune to dispose of waste, so when it goes back through Recofloor, it doesn’t cost anything. It’s ideal for everyone!’

Specifying and deploying Recofloor on projects, large or small, is straightforward for any flooring contractor, fitter or construction company. Collaboration and communication between all the parties and Recofloor is vital for the scheme to succeed on project sites. Keeping everyone informed of the progress, updates or any changes to working practices is vital.

Setting up Recofloor on projects might present some challenges, but with the correct implementation and collaboration from the industry, it shouldn’t be difficult. To facilitate the deployment, Recofloor can assist with the resources needed to ensure a successful implementation. The team is also available to host Toolkit Talks as well as introduce and explain the scheme to all relevant parties.

Since Recofloor’s inception in 2009, a total of 6,740 tonnes of waste vinyl flooring has been collected through the scheme. This equates to nearly 2,500,000sq m of flooring – enough to cover 37,456 average-sized UK classrooms or 236 hospital patient wards – and CO2 savings of 7,909 tonnes, enough to take 2,064 cars off the road per year.

By founding Recofloor, Altro and Polyflor has given tremendous support to the flooring industry in helping participants to contribute to a greener outlook for the sector by reducing the carbon footprint of their activities through recycling waste vinyl flooring. This helps companies reduce their disposal costs, boosts their green credentials which helps secure new business and recovers material for reuse in new products.

In conclusion, Recofloor is much more than just a collection scheme; its whole ethos also forms a core part of many companies’ sustainability commitments in the flooring sector. We’re proud to play our part in advancing sustainability in the flooring sector.
0161 3557618
Carla Eslava is Recofloor scheme manager

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