Some 42,000 tonnes of carpet waste were diverted in 2010 and the industry now believes it is firmly on track to achieve its 25% landfill diversion target by 2015. Currently only 10% in total of carpet waste arisings each year (420,000 tonnes) is being recycled or recovered.
Specialist carpet recyclers in the UK have increased from six to 24 in the past two years, comprising eight reuse specialists and 16 recycling and fuel flock producers.
On-going research is being conducted into innovative outlets and end markets for recycled carpet waste with 50 small-scale development trials undertaken last year. These included bitumen and fibre recovery from carpet tiles, wool and polypropylene reprocessing.
Targets for 2011 include diverting 50,000 tonnes (12%) from landfill and increasing recycling outlets to 40 across the UK. The sector also aims to conduct further collection trials and attract additional funding to support technical work on end market development.
"Such progress is very encouraging and we are on course to achieve 25% landfill diversion by 2015, however it is important to keep the momentum going," said CRUK co-ordinator Jane Gardner, of Axion Consulting, which manages the industry-backed association for recycling and reusing waste carpet.
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