Collection and sorting schemes

Recovinyl LogoRecycling products at the end of their useful lives presents the greatest challenge in terms of economically viable collection, sorting and cleaning.

Even before the Vinyl2010 programme started, the PVC industry had been building on its experience of recycling installation waste and had been extending such operations to collect and recycle post-consumer products wherever this is viable. With the launch of Vinyl2010 these schemes have been expanded and new ones initiated. See www.vinylplus.eu

An appropriate collection system is the prerequisite for an effective, long-term programme. A variety of systems exist:

`Take Back' schemes, including arrangements to collect post-use products, are offered by commercial companies, converters and local authorities and apply mostly to long-term PVC applications. These are used, for example, in the construction industry for PVC pipes, windows, profiles and floorings.

`Bring Back' schemes encourage consumers to return used items to collection points (eg: bottle banks). A major advantage is the pre-sorting of waste by consumers.

`Kerbside Collection' brings in mostly domestic waste from specific roadside containers placed in front of households. The degree of sorting is usually lower than with the other schemes. A typical example is the yellow bag collection of all types of plastic packaging via the `Duale System' in Germany. Viable recycling, therefore, depends on many factors, with, as the main requirements:

  • Access through appropriate collection arrangements to a sufficient, steady and reliable supply of waste materials.
  • Technology which makes the recycling economically sensible.
  • A constant demand for the recycled products.