Pictured, left to right: Freek van den Heuvel (REWIN/SynchUp!), Jelle van der Werf (Vinylrecycling.com), Waldo Maaskant (provincie Noord-Brabant), Gerard Keurentjes (ministerie van EZK), Stefan Reusen (Forbo Siegling) en David Duque (Vanderlande)
Today, SynchUp! awarded an innovation voucher of €10,000 to Vinylrecycling.com. This amount enables a pilot project in which Vinylrecycling.com, Vanderlande, and Forbo Siegling jointly test the recycling of conveyor belts. “We no longer want to consider them as waste,” says David Duque of Vanderlande.
Vanderlande is a leading global partner for future-proof logistic process automation in the warehousing, airports, and parcel sectors. The conveyor belts used in these systems are sourced from external suppliers and are made of PVC and polyester. After a few years of use, the belts wear out and need to be replaced. Previously, the old belts were disposed of as waste, but Duque explains that Vanderlande no longer aligns with their sustainability goals.
Recycling the conveyor belts is challenging because the two components are bonded together and contain difficult-to-separate additives. Vanderlande initially explored a solution in the realm of chemical recycling, but it did not prove effective. Thanks to SynchUp!, an alternative solution is now on the horizon. Duque states, “SynchUp! first accurately assessed our needs, and then identified several parties with potential solutions. The idea presented by Vinylrecycling.com seems the most feasible.”
The volume of discarded conveyor belts from Vanderlande alone is not sufficient to be of interest to the recycling company. Therefore, Forbo Siegling, the producer of the conveyor belts, was invited to participate. Stefan Reusen of Forbo Siegling remarks, “We face the same problems as Vanderlande. That’s why we gladly participate in the testing because if this works, it will also benefit all our other customers.”
Quality of the recycled material
Jelle van der Werff from Vinylrecycling.com prefers not to share the “trade secrets.” He approaches the technical aspects of the test with confidence, stating, “Ultimately, it’s the quality of the recycled material that will determine whether we can create a viable business case. We can conduct testing on a relatively small scale and keep costs limited. However, there are non-profitable hours involved in scheduling production and cleaning the machines. Additionally, there are analysis costs for the recycled material incurred by the external laboratory. Therefore, the financial contribution from SynchUp! is welcome.”
Jan Westra from SynchUp! adds, “With these partners, we believe we can offer a successful solution to Vanderlande in Brabant, helping them take an important step towards achieving the company’s sustainability goals. The impact could even be global from an environmental perspective.”
Duque concludes, “The collaboration with SynchUp! went very smoothly. The SynchUp! team took the lead and brought the parties together. It is highly valuable that we have come this far and are now moving forward with testing.”
Vinylrecycling.com specializes in recycling PVC floors and PVC-containing materials, allowing these materials to be repurposed as raw materials by manufacturers.
Vanderlande is a leading global partner for future-proof logistic process automation in the warehousing, airports, and parcel sectors. Vanderlande’s extensive portfolio of integrated solutions, including innovative systems, intelligent software, and life-cycle services, results in fast, reliable, and efficient automation technology.
About Forbo Siegling
Forbo Siegling is a supplier of transport and process belts, modular belts, power transmission belts