WREP 2018: Pilot project for recycling post-consumer PVC articles

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WREP 2018, "Waste from demolition collection of Recycling Pilot Scheme for 2018", is a pilot project developed by PVC Forum Italia, the national association of producers, processors and recyclers of PVC, in collaboration with VinylPlus, the European association of the PVC supply chain of which the PVC Forum Italia as a member is a member. It is part of a multi-year project called WREP - Waste Recycling Project, started in 2016.

WREP 2018 was born with the aim of implementing and optimizing in the field a "pilot scheme" for the interception and recycling of PVC produced in construction activities and demolition of buildings (C&D) and end of life items (post-consumer).The WREP 2018 project implements innovative procedures to make effective the recovery of PVC present in construction and demolition waste and in bulky urban waste.

Currently in Italy less than half of the PVC potentially available for recycling is recycled; this depends above all on the fact that collection points are scattered throughout the territory and most recyclers are micro and small businesses. The project implements a consolidated and accredited traceability methodology, successfully applied to urban waste recovery chains in the Metropolitan City of Venice. In the WREP 2018 pilot project, all the "solution package" criteria will be implemented, consisting of regulatory, technical and economic tools, in order to have all the information necessary to propose a national and European procedure for the collection and recycling of Demolition PVC, accompanied by the relative cost estimate.

Main results

From the results deriving from the positive success of this pilot project, once extended to a national level it should lead to significant benefits to:

  • environmental level: preventing reusable waste from being sent to landfills with a reduction in the use of non-renewable raw materials
  • social level: involving and raising awareness of all possible recycling actors.

The availability of recyclable post-consumption PVC could partially replace part of the import of virgin polymer PVC in Italy due to the total absence of such production on the national territory. From an approximate calculation the development of an efficient recycling chain in Italy could not only increase the turnover of Italian companies but also increase employment.