CleanstreamCarpets: ProductReuse makesBusiness senseBy: Ecodesign CentreCarpet tiles make up approximately 3.5 million tonnes of wastein Wales annually. Through providing avenues for carpet reuseCleanstream Carpets are providing an essential service to givecarpet tiles a second life.
“Recycled materials can sometimes offer unconventionalconstraints, but with the application of good design, these wereeasily overcome to create a unique office environment. Therange of products offered by Cleanstream allowed me to easilycoordinate and complement the existing design specificationof the project. As a designer, I was impressed by the extensiverange and quality of the reused tiles on offer at Cleanstream.” ~ Lisa Tobia, Tobia DesignCleanstream Carpets operate a UK-wide For Cleanstream reuse is the first option. Inrecovery, reuse and recycling service for accordance with the waste hierarchy, reuse isoffice and retail carpet tiles. Cleanstream better than recycling is better than landfilling,was established in 2008 and was a natural and extends the lifecycle of the materials andprogression for its founder Ellen Petts with product far beyond scenarios where a tile isher experience in both the social and furniture directly recycled, increasing employment assectors. Cleanstream Carpets are located in well reducing environmental burden across thePorth and currently employ 5 people. lifecycle. We can all learn from Cleanstream, as intercepting at the reuse stage is something thatThe Cleanstream business model delivers needs to be implemented across other sectorsboth environmental and social benefits. As a and waste streams.social enterprise, the business is committed togenerating local employment and supporting One of the biggest challenges for Cleanstreamcommunity development through training is consistency and continuity of supply, as oftenand support for the long term unemployed. supplied tiles may be partially damaged withBy intercepting a material stream that would some beyond reuse. Often collections will beotherwise be landfilled, Cleanstream can once-off scenarios and the incoming stock isprovide a much needed high quality, low cost unpredictable. To better manage this aspectproduct for clients on lower incomes. In 2010 of their business Cleanstream are turning toCleanstream diverted 23 tonnes of tile waste design as a solution. Bringing design to refitfrom landfill, in 2011 this increased to 50 tonnes projects can enhance the marketability of theand in 2012 already they are looking at 79 service by improving aesthetics at the refittonnes of waste diversion. stage. There are also design opportunities through looking at avenues for dying stainedThe modular design of a carpet through carpet tiles to dark colours to further increase thetiling lends itself well to a reuse business model. quantity of reusability of incoming tiles andWorn carpets may only need replacement of ultimately extend the life of the materials andsome tiles to renew it. Cleanstream’s core product.supplier base is that of the retail and corporatesector. More often than not, in these cases One of their most recent projects has involvedcarpet tiles are designed for a longer life than working with Lisa Tobia of Tobia Design to refitthe product is actually used for. For instance, the new Welsh Women’s Refuge at Caxtonin corporate offices carpets may be changed Place in Cardiff. Tobia Design offers a bespokeregularly due to corporate rebranding, quality interior design consultation service for clientsstandards and styling choices. In the case of within the public and private sectors liaisingtiles being beyond repair, then, Cleanstream closely with clients to develop unique interiorwill sort and send the tiles to a third party for solutions that are both functional and stylish.shredding and reprocessing into new feedstock. The facility has been refitted with 100% reclaimed tiles.
“WWA also wanted to use its funds in a way which maximisedbenefits for both the environment, and other not for profitorganisations where possible...By using Cleanstream forrecycled carpets, not only were we able to achieve significantfinancial savings compared to new, but were able to use ourimagination with regard to the design of the flooring...not onlydo we have flooring that we like, but at the same time havesignificantly reduced the negative environmental impact thatusing a ‘standard’ company to remove old and supply newflooring would have had.” ~ Jemma Wray, Welsh Women’s Aid