Act on reducing waste sustainably with Recofloor
Recofloor is the flooring sector’s environmentally friendly collection scheme for waste vinyl flooring that can help construction companies and large contractors showcase their sustainable credentials and earn certification points for accredited schemes, such as BREEAM.
Established in 2009 by leading flooring manufacturers Polyflor and Altro, Recofloor provides the flooring sector with a genuinely sustainable take-back scheme for commercial waste vinyl generated from refurbishment and new build projects.
The UK-wide scheme collects a range of flooring types, such as Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVTs), smooth, safety and loose lay vinyl offcuts, roll ends as well as uplifted smooth and loose lay vinyl. Since its inception, Recofloor has diverted a total of 5,400 tonnes of waste vinyl flooring from landfill.
Using the Recofloor scheme is also beneficial economically as members can save up to 70% on the cost of skips and sending waste vinyl flooring to landfill. The standard rate Landfill Tax in England for 2020/21 is currently £94.15 per tonne.
Recofloor makes it simple for members to benefit and take a responsible approach to resource recovery, supplying branded bins or bags that allow segregation of different materials. This minimises contamination, while increasing recyclability.
Commercial vinyl material can be collected from sites such as new home building, education, healthcare, leisure centres, stores and others. This offers a convenient and cost-effective option for contractors to dispose of waste vinyl responsibly, with collections adapted according to their needs.
Recofloor members receive a Certificate of Commitment as evidence of their participation in the scheme. They can also request a statement letter showing the amount of material collected for a particular project or period of time.
With proof of what material has been collected, flooring contractors or construction companies can apply for BREEAM points and environmental certificates. This elevates their ‘sustainability status’ and promoting their involvement in the Recofloor scheme raises awareness, helping to attract more business, especially where evidence of recycling is a requirement in tender processes.
Julian Normie, Managing Director at Bramhall Flooring comments: “We totally buy into Recofloor and it was easy to use the scheme on a phased project. We rang up, asked for the bags and while we brought some back to our premises, most were collected from site as the project continued.”
He adds: “We believe that recycling helps the environment and doesn’t contribute to overloaded landfill sites. Using Recofloor also saves us money on skips. We have been asked several times to provide evidence that we recycle as this helps clients with their BREEAM ratings – and Recofloor membership helps us to do this.”
The construction industry is the UK’s biggest consumer of natural resources. According to DEFRA, an estimated 120 million tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste was produced in 2016. While their statistics indicate that 92% of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste was recovered in some form (55 million tonnes) in 2016, nearly 5 million tonnes (8%) of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste was landfilled in 2016.
Adam Conway, Contracts Director at Westcotes Flooring Company says: “Typical installation wastage for vinyl flooring is around 15% and 20%, while between 3% to 5% of LVT is wasted; so, a lot of material would end up in skips and landfill. This is now being recycled and obviously being put to good use and turned into new vinyl flooring. For me, Recofloor is a particularly good scheme. If everyone does a little bit for the environment, then it’s building a better future for the next generation and everyone.”
Recofloor Scheme Manager, Carla Eslava suggests that flooring contractors ‘shouldn’t be waiting for others to take action on sustainability’ saying: “It should be a collective matter of pride in taking responsibility for the environment. The sustainability of projects should be a priority, especially now that more services and options are available to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry.”