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£5m to be invested at new carpet recycling facility
Innovate Recycle is investing £5m in the UK’s first carpet recycling facility in Northamptonshire. Work on the new facility is due to start shortly, with equipment installed and commissioned by the autumn. The site is expected to be fully operational in January 2022.
New jobs will be created, including up to 11 apprenticeships, and the company will work with partners such as the University of Northampton to support the growing cluster of waste expertise in Northamptonshire. By 2025, it is expected that 90 new jobs will have been created by Innovate Recycle.
The company estimates that the UK produces over 400,000 tonnes of carpet waste each year, with most of this waste going to landfill, incineration or shredded to produce equine training surfaces. Currently, there is no effective, at volume, recycling process for the material.
Waste material will be sourced from across the Midlands, East and South East of England and will utilise renewable power from the adjacent Chelveston Renewable Energy Park.
Its focus will be on polypropylene-based carpets, as this polymer, when repurposed, provides exceptional qualities of strength and recyclability that will provide a strong marketable end of line product that can be continually repurposed to manufacture other polypropylene-based plastic products across a wide range of industries.
Joseph Eccleston, CEO of Innovate Recycle, said: “We will work closely with the carpet industry to increase the environmental performance of carpet manufacturing. Innovate Recycle are at the forefront of new technology in the UK and our processes enable deconstruction and resource recapture from end-of-life carpets, this enables the reuse of these valuable resources, in particular polypropylene.”
Bob Woods, chair of the board of Innovate Recycle, added: “There is a need for change. Post-consumer and industrial carpet cannot continue to be sent to landfill, incinerated or repurposed into products that damage the environment. Innovate Recycle are at the forefront of developing a new circular economy approach for the carpet industry, building a unique sustainable process, supporting the local economy and producing quality material that can be recycled time and time again.”