Despite breakthroughs in urban waste management that facilitate the circular economy, bulky waste continues to represent a recovery challenge. More than a 60% of the 19 million tonnes of waste furniture, mattresses, upholstery, textiles, plastic garden products, etc., generated each year in Europe ends up in landfills.
AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is coordinating the European URBANREC project, within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme.
A further 20 partners are participating in the project, which is scheduled to last 42 months. Effective management solutions will be developed to promote prevention and reuse, and innovation in logistics and waste treatment will also be implemented to make bulky waste recovery possible and to obtain high-added value recycled products, such as: adhesives; solvents and additives; foams; fibre-reinforced composites, reinforced plastics, such as Wood Plastic Compounds (WPC), etc.
This will be achieved through innovative mechanical and chemical recycling solutions. The specific aim is to achieve an 82% recovery rate for bulky waste across Europe, with a net profit of €225.6 per ton, which represents a total of €2,127 million per annum.