Only 2% of the 400,000 tonnes of discarded carpets in the UK is recycled. The rest goes into landfill or incinerated. Innovate Recycle aims to build a new carpet recycling plant in Northamptonshire that, once it is complete, would be able to recycle carpet into reusable materials. It has already received a grant funding of up to £2.35m.
Of the circa 400,000 tonnes of waste carpet generated in the UK each year, around 44% is currently diverted from landfill. However, the bulk goes to incineration and shredding for outdoor equestrian flooring. Neither approach is true recycling. Carpets can contain more than 59+ toxic substances. As waste they are harmful to health, and CO2 is released when incinerated. In the end, only 2% is genuinely recycled. Reusable polypropylene within the carpet is lost to burning and shredding. This is a wasted opportunity.
With a developed business model, and the right technology partner, Innovate Recycle secured a grant of up to £2.35m to build our first plant, to be based at Chelveston Energy Park. We will use renewable energy from the adjacent energy park, and proven recycling technology from the US, which has recycled cir. 25m tonnes of carpet since 2015.
Growing demand for recycled polypropylene material has been confirmed by a leading recycled polymer distributor.
Post-funding, we plan that plant construction and testing will take 12 months to complete & be operational by month 13. Our calculations suggest one production line, at full capacity, can recycle up to 20,000 tonnes each year & generate 12,600 tonnes of polypropylene pellets. We plan to expand to a second production line by yr 4 at the same facility.