Tarkett Recycled More Than 154 Million Pounds of Flooring Globally in 2009

By Cindy Mansfield, Communication Manager Marketing, Tarkett Group

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States has 3,091 active municipal landfills with 38 percent of landfill waste from construction and demolition activities annually. Vinyl composition tile (VCT) makes up 75 percent of the total commercial resilient floor market while creating one billion pounds of waste material sent to landfills.

Tarkett has positively impacted these statistics through their ReUse/ReStart™ programs. ReUse/ReStart, a key component of Tarkett’s Balanced Choice philosophy, encompasses four distinct goals: creating people-friendly spaces, using better raw materials, practicing resource stewardship, and reusing and recycling. Launched in 2003, the ReUse/ReStart programs entail the recycling of installed flooring in the commercial market, installation waste and product samples.

In Tarkett’s North American facilities, 19 million pounds of flooring were internally recycled. For 2010, the reclaimed and recycled volume is projected to hit 35 million pounds.

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, remanufactured and then shipped back to the market as “new” tile. 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 percent and depending on color, up to 30 percent recycled content. Tarkett is working to further increase these levels.

“The results to date have been extremely positive, demonstrating our program can significantly diminish the environmental impact of these materials well into the future,” says Diane Martel, Vice President, Environmental Planning and Strategy for Tarkett North America.

Going forward, 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 long-standing commitment to recycling and the dedication of our company and customers has helped drive the success of our program,” said Martel.

“Tarkett is 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. This is the essence of our Balanced Choice philosophy,” Martel concluded.

About Balanced Choice
Global sustainability is an integral part of the way Tarkett approaches every aspect of their business, from manufacturing to product development to shipping. It’s part of their core philosophy – Balanced Choice. It’s how the company works to build floors that enable customers to balance their impact on the planet, their people and their budgets.

For more than 50 years, sustainability has been a key component of Tarkett’s strategy. Tarkett provides customers with a wide range of sustainable solutions that will work for any application. The company believes that sustainability is an ongoing effort and works to approach challenges and find solutions through Balance Choice. For more information, visit www.tarkett.com.