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Carpet Recycling UK: One million tonnes of waste carpet diverted from landfill

Carpet Recycling UK has inspired and facilitated the diversion from landfill of one million tonnes of waste carpet in its first decade, delegates at the industry association’s tenth Annual Conference and Awards Event heard.

This total tonnage is equivalent to approximately 400 million m2 of carpet or 57,000 football pitches. Key markets that have developed include carpet tile reuse, the equestrian sector, recovered fuels and incineration for energy recovery.

Last year, 168,000 tonnes were diverted from landfill, representing a diversion rate of 42%. CRUK’s target is 60% by 2020.

Taking the theme - ‘Celebrating 10 years of Resource Recovery’ - the one-day conference, sponsored by Invista, manufacturers of ANTRON® Carpet Fibres, was held at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham in July. It marked the achievements and major contributions by members – both individuals and organisations – who have all helped to drive greater sustainability in the flooring sector since 2008.

CRUK Director Laurance Bird said the event was a ‘great success’ with ‘excellent feedback’ from attendees on the contacts made, networking opportunities and wide range of subjects covered.

He commented: “One million tonnes of carpeted diverted from landfill to reuse, recycling and energy recovery is a fantastic demonstration of what can be achieved by co-operation across the value chain. Thank you to our core funders who had the foresight to make this possible.”

CRUK’s core funders are Cormar Carpets, Lifestyle Floors/Headlam, Brintons Carpets, DESSO, ege, Milliken, and Balsan. CRUK currently has 99 members.

In her presentation on ‘Developing a Circular Economy for Carpet’, Jane Gardner of CRUK welcomed a ‘steep increase’ in retailer/contractor membership. She said: “We have helped retailers and contractors significantly over the years. Increasingly, they are recognising the value in taking back carpet waste as an additional service for customers, who are keen to see material recycled rather than landfilled.”

Continuing the theme, keynote speaker Dr Edmund Vankann of ECRA GUT, the EU carpet industry’s environmental programme explained the development of a new Circular Carpet Platform in Europe to promote recycling and recover resources from carpet waste.

Creative solutions for carpet tile reuse, including ‘circular office fit outs’, were covered by Ellen Petts, MD of South Wales-based Greenstream Flooring who said: “Ten years ago, we had to work really hard to create markets for used carpet tiles. Today, we are extending their lifecycle through social and, increasingly, commercial markets with no materials sent to landfill.”

Positive delegate feedback included Rosie Harvey from Leeds City Council who had gained a ‘better understanding of the challenges from different perspectives, but also with a whole host of new contacts to tap into whilst we all navigate the current period of change’.

While David Judge, MD of Cormar Carpets enthused: “I am not one of life’s tree huggers, but we have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds each year and every year from being involved in CRUK. Being part of CRUK is a must for all businesses that are serious about saving or making money!”

Carpet Recycling UK was founded in 2008 to tackle the 400,000 tonnes of waste carpet arising in the UK annually. It welcomes enquiries from all types of organisations interested in finding new outlets for their waste carpet with potential savings on disposal costs. For more information, please call Marie Rhodes on 0161 440 8325 or email: or visit

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