VEKA increases recycling capacity in UK
VEKA Recycling invests £200K in PVC-U shredder
Our UK based recycling plant has invested more than £200K in an industrial PVC-U shredder increasing the recycling capacity at the VEKA Recycling state-of-the-art plant in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. In March VEKA Group CEO, Andreas Hartleif, officially opened the new recycling plant in UK - 15 months after the facility came fully on-stream.
Despite being completed against the backdrop of ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions, continuing travel restrictions meant that the German-based CEO of the VEKA Group, Mr. Andreas Hartleif, could not travel to the UK to carry out the formal opening. In March, with the rules finally dropping, Mr. Hartleif finally made the trip to inspect the Northamptonshire site, the third to be built by VEKA since 1993 and Europe’s most advanced. He was accompanied by Norbert Bruns, VEKA Recycling Group chairman and Managing Director of VEKA Umwelttechnik GmbH.
According to Simon Scholes, Managing Director of VEKA Recycling Ltd, this latest investment underlines the company’s role in maximizing the sustainability of PVC-U building products through responsible recycling.
"Landfilled plastic windows, as well as offcuts and defective parts generated during the manufacturing process, should be a thing of the past. The new shredder will help increase throughput at our recycling plant, which has become the most modern of its kind in Europe through a £15 million investment programme.", Simon Scholes said.
Increased recycling capacity for more sustainability
Thanks to the new shredder, the recycling plant can now recycle more than 35,000 tons of PVC windows annually and produce the highest quality PVC granulate. The closed-loop system ensures that PVC-U is treated as the valuable resource it actually is. This means that a single window or door can be used for up to 350 years, while reducing the amount of new PVC products made from virgin material. All of this helps to minimize the environmental footprint of the window and door industry.
"When recycled responsibly, PVC-U can realize its full potential as environmentally friendly window material. Our latest investment will help us achieve this," concludes Simon Scholes.
VEKA Recycling collects and processes the waste in-house and guarantees that recycling standards and legal guidelines are met at every stage. This means that window manufacturers and installers who use VEKA Recycling's services can demonstrate their commitment to responsible recycling to their customers - and remove any fear of incorrect waste disposal.
VEKA Group’s holistic approach to PVC-U
Building the plant in the UK means that it is living circular economy: the recycling facility allows the full processing of PVC-U without the need for transport overseas. It is vital that we do not compromise this highly sustainable cycle by increasing our carbon footprint elsewhere. This is a clear indication of the VEKA Group's holistic approach to PVC as an extremely valuable, versatile and sustainable material.
Restating VEKA Group’s commitment to a holistic approach towards PVC-U, Hartleif told the staff at Wellingborough, that the UK remained one of the company’s most significant markets: “As one of the world’s largest users of PVC-U the UK remains a key market for the VEKA Group. As such it is important for UK to be as self-sufficient as possible. The completion of this site has been a remarkable achievement, against the toughest conditions created by the global pandemic, and also for advancing the quality of material now achievable through recycling end-of-life frames.”
Operating for 15 years now
Fifteen years ago, VEKA Umwelttechnik GmbH, the recycling business of the VEKA Group, decided to set up a UK subsidiary.
A lot has happened since then: the original site at Swanscombe alongside the river Thames in Kent closed in 2018 after a 6-acre site was found in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, where the initial commitment to invest £12 million in a purpose-built, state-of-the-art window and door recycling centre has now grown to £15 million.
With the new shredder, the recycling capacity has grown to meet the demand for recycled granules created by outages in PVC-U resin supply and the growing desire for green products.
Learn more about window recycling in the UK:
From left: Simon Scholes, Managing Director VEKA Recycling Ltd, Andreas Hartleif, CEO VEKA Group, Norbert Bruns, Managing Director VEKA Umwelttechnik GmbH and Edward Lipinski-Barltrop, Operations Director, finally opened the new recycling plant at Wellingborough.