CHAGRIN FALLS, OHIO— Launched in 2003, Tarkett’s ReUse/ReStart programs entail the recycling of installed flooring in the commercial market, installation waste and product samples. In 2009, the programs recycled 154 million pounds of flooring globally, conducting the recycling process in-house at several plants worldwide and in the U.S. In the mill’s North American facilities, 19 million pounds of flooring were internally recycled. Reclaimed and recycled volume for 2010 is projected to hit 35 million pounds.
The ReUse/ReStart programs are a key component of Tarkett’s balanced choice philosophy, noted Diane Martel, vice president of environmental planning and strategy for Tarkett North America. It has four distinct goals: creating people-friendly spaces, using better raw materials, practicing resource stewardship, and reusing and recycling.
Thirty-eight percent of landfill waste comes from construction and demolition activities annually, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. has 3,091 active and over 10,000 inactive municipal landfills..
Installed vinyl composition tile (VCT) makes up 75% of the total commercial resilient floor market, creating one billion pounds of waste material sent to landfills, Martel said. “Tarkett has positively impacted these statistics through its ReUse/ ReStart programs.”
The success of these programs is due in large part to the collaboration between Tarkett North America and its major customers to return installed flooring materials, including competitor’s products, to be recycled and then shipped back to the market as “new” tile, she said. “The post-consumer content is incorporated into the production of Tarkett VCT, specifically the Expressions and Azrock lines. All Azrock tiles contain pre- and post-consumer recycled content with standard and premium VCT containing a minimum of 20% and depending on color, up to 30%, recycled content. “And,” Martel added, “Tarkett is working to further increase these levels.”
“The results to date have been extremely positive, demonstrating our program can significantly diminish the impact of these materials well into the future,” she explained.
Going forward, Martel continued, “Tarkett is developing methods and creating opportunities for incorporating the waste stream into its full range of products, including commercial vinyl and rubber flooring and accessories and expanding beyond the commercial market into residential products as well.
“Tarkett’s commitment to recycling and the dedication of our company and customers has helped drive the success of our program,” she said. “We’re known for developing durable, high-performance flooring solutions and as our product development capabilities increase, we will be able to maintain growth in not only recycling flooring, but in incorporating pre- and post-consumer recycled content into our products.
“We understand that each commercial project has unique environmental objectives, and our reclamation and reuse programs contribute to satisfying many of these sustainability needs,” Martel concluded. “This is the essence of our balanced choice philosophy.”
For more on Tarkett and its environmental programs, call 440.708. 9238.