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GT Recycling Wins 'Highly Commended' Recycling Award

Updated: Feb 28

Carpet Recycling UK's mission is to promote sustainability across the global carpet and textile flooring industry. Their aim is to divert carpet waste from landfill, and towards a useful resource. They collaborate and connect with businesses across every stage of the supply chain, from manufacturing, government, education and recycling.

Each year they announce the 'Recycler of the Year' winners. The winners are businesses who have demonstrated the following towards diverting carpet from landfill:

  1. Innovation

  2. Strived to develop new ideas and outcomes to recycle carpet

  3. Helped more carpet up the waste hierachy - from disposal towards recycling and reuse

GT Recycling's CRUK Application

G T Recycling identified a gap in the country’s capabilities to recycle waste carpet in a commercially viable and sustainable fashion. With limited established domestic markets for recycled carpet, and the absence of waste to energy options in Australia, the company embarked on a journey, together with its stakeholders Godfrey Hirst Carpets and Deakin University, to develop new recycled product options suitable for local markets.

Membership of Carpet Recycling UK was important in allowing GT Recycling to understand potential end uses for recycled carpet in its domestic market, and be a part of a “Best Practice” industry organisation in that area.

There has been significant interest in the carpet fibre concrete reinforcing product, particularly from Councils, who see potential benefits and cost savings in areas of pavement crack management, with potential lower maintenance requirements, and reduced public liability aligned to reduced trip hazards.

We are excited to announce that, in January 2021 we plan to launch this new product in the Australian market following completion of our commercialisation strategy.

GTR has taken a previously non-recyclable waste problem, undertaken significant R&D with specialist researchers at Deakin University, to deliver a sustainable recycling solution for Australia’s largest carpet manufacturer, whilst having a positive impact on the environment and reducing the volume of waste destined to landfill.

Our experience helped us recognise the synergies with recycling carpet polymer fibre and our existing plastic recycling operations, and we have subsequently diversified our operations to accommodate this innovative recycling solution. This Australian first has scale to significantly reduce landfill locally and globally, creating new markets to accept and apply this waste solution.

Applications for the carpet reinforced concrete include residential slab on ground and driveways, footpaths and cycle paths, and industrial hardstand areas, creating a wide market of residential, industrial and local council end consumers.

The Waste Problem: End Of Life Carpet

Each year in Australia, less than 5% of waste carpet is recycled, with the remaining going to landfill. In 2019, GT Recycling collected carpet waste from the Geelong and Melbourne areas, which equated to 500 tonnes. A majority of this waste was historically regarded as ‘non recyclable’ and previously destined for landfill.

Processing And Recycling Waste Carpet

GT Recycling's reprocessing method includes collection of waste carpet from Godfrey Hirst Carpets, Australia’s largest carpet manufacturer, and delivery to the GT Recycling plant in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Waste carpet is sorted into four classifications, nylon, polypropylene, wool and PET. GT Recycling has the capability to process and recycle clean installation offcuts, new factory offcuts, rejects and end of run waste.

PET carpet is isolated for the production of EcoFibre.

Development of EcoFibre

The idea was to process waste carpet, and develop a high performance carpet reinforced concrete solution.

GT Recycling's innovative reprocessing method and subsequent new product has been developed over six years in a Research and Development collaboration effort with Deakin University, Geelong. This collaboration has successfully proven the suitability and benefits of this new product innovation, and we believe that a new and Australian first product has been established.

Together with Deakin University, a significant amount of work has been undertaken to prove the workability of the CFRC in areas covering ease of placement, compaction and finishing. Our research also proved amongst a range of other things, positive results for compressive strength, flexural strength and drying shrinkage strain of the carpet reinforced concrete compared to plain concrete, together with optimum size and blend.

The processing method includes waste carpet being shredded to meet optimum size requirements. This process in itself required researching a range of shredding options and screen sizes and configurations, whilst at the same time maintaining the flexibility to process a range of other products recycled by the company.

The end product, EcoFibre is packaged in a convenient and recyclable packaging for ease when mixing in concrete batches.

Safety and maintenance challenges with cracked public foot and cycle paths

Cracked footpaths and cycle paths present a public safety risk. Plus, the cost to maintain damaged paths is significant. Both challenges combined provide councils and businesses with substantial problem. Which presents the opportunity to deliver a solution, that not only makes footpaths more durable and long lasting, but also require less maintenance and safe to use by the public for a longer time.

Trial Project

In September 2014, two high traffic trial sections of industrial driveway were laid, with both carpet fibre reinforcing and plain concrete for comparison. Results to date have showed positive improvements of crack resilience with the carpet fibre reinforced section.

Now that we have proven this product in trial high traffic sections, our next step is to trial sections of industrial hardstand areas and local council footpaths and cycle paths.

Benefits Of EcoFibre

  1. Excellent Distribution Throughout the Concrete Mix

  2. Excellent Workability (finishing)

  3. Reduction in Drying Shrinkage Cracking

  4. Increases Flexural Performance and Crack Control

  5. Provides 3-Dimensional Reinforcement against Micro-cracking

  6. Compliant with a range of concrete Standards to meet targeted applications

  7. Great example of collaboration between industry and research organisations

  8. EcoFibre, with minimal waste created in the recycling process, certainly meets the criteria in driving carpet waste up the hierarchy.

Applications suitable for EcoFibre

CRUK Competition Results

In 2020, GT Recycling's EcoFibre recevied a 'Highly Commended' award in the Recycler Of The Year competition.

For more information regarding EcoFibre, please contact GT Recycling.


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