The successful „PVC Recyclers Meet PVC Processors“ series from AGPU and VinylPlus is being continued this year. Along with three regional events planned for the second half of the year, AGPU and VinylPlus were also in attendance at the „PVC Recycling Campaign“ exhibition stand at the 2015 Demolition specialist conference, which took place in Berlin last week.

The event involving 700 participants and 80 exhibitors has developed into Europe’s largest specialist conference on demolition and dismantling matters. Those attending are demolition companies, firms of consulting engineers, public authority representatives and construction companies. The subjects covered range from demolition, technical engineering, workers safety through to pollutant decontamination and recycling.

The renovation of residential buildings is an important step when it comes to energy savings and climate protection. A recent example of such renovation work is the modernisation of eight blocks of flats, each containing 194 flats, in the „Bissierstrasse“ street in the Betzenhausen district of the German city of Freiburg. During this modernisation, a total of 1500 old PVC windows will be replaced with new heat-insulating PVC windows within a period of 80 days. The scrap windows will then be processed using mechanical recycling as part of the collection system operated throughout Germany by the window recycling system of Rewindo Fenster-Recycling-Service GmbH in the German city of Bonn, with the raw material recovered in this recycling process being made available for reuse in the production of new window and building profiles.

According to Gerald Feigenbutz, the Managing Director of the European PVC Window Profile and Related Building Products Association (EPPA), this major recycling project is a „beacon“ that acts as additional proof that closed loop recycling management is functioning well in Europe and provides a number of benefits for all parties involved.

Both the current recycling project in Freiburg and Europe’s largest recycling project involving 2500 scrap PVC windows in the German city of Norderstedt near Hamburg are being supported by Rewindo and EPPA. Over the past few years, AGPU has combined forces with Rewindo to organise the German „Environmentally Friendly Modernisation“ competition. The two current projects mentioned above and this competition are important examples that demonstrate the successful use of PVC recycling. It is essential that this success is constantly made clear to decision-makers in the world of politics and in public authorities in order to further increase the acceptance of PVC recycling activities.

The construction sector is one of the world’s most resource-intensive economic sectors, with a huge amount of raw material required for the construction of buildings and infrastructures. „Recycling is an important step along the way towards reducing the extraction of resources and its environmental impacts on a sustainable basis. Construction waste in Germany in particular, where raw materials are scarce, contains huge potential when it comes to high-quality raw materials that can now already be recovered using cost-effective processes and refined in such a manner that they are comparable with the original materials in terms of quality“, states a brief analysis recently published by the Association of German Engineers (VDI). In their analysis, which covers a total of 55 pages, the authors provide a comprehensive overview of the different recycling options available, including those involving PVC material (chapter 3.9) using the examples of PVC window profiles, PVC flooring and PVC films. Alongside AGPU, the analysis also names VinylPlus, Rewindo and the German Association for the Recycling of PVC Floor Coverings (AgPR) as references.