In Sweden, large numbers of pipes are being installed every year in new buildings and during maintenance of both buildings and infrastructure. The pipes are manufactured largely within the country’s borders and only in Sweden, the production is at 100,000 tonnes per year.
Unfortunately, pipe production annually produces about 5,000 tonnes of installation waste, which today is almost exclusively for energy recovery which, compared to if the pipes were to be recycled instead, means a lost material value of SEK 50 million per year and a negative environmental impact through the release of 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.
The pipe material could instead be recycled. How this can be realized has been investigated in the innovation project Repipe. The project has lasted for more than two years and ends in December 2018. The aim is to develop new cost-effective and resource-efficient solutions for collection, sorting and recycling of plastic pipes.
Solution / What do we do to meet the challenge?
In order to increase material recycling of pipe waste in Sweden, the following parts have been implemented in the project Repipe:
- Mapping current pipe waste
- Development of a collection model
- Development of a sorting method
- Material Tests
Parties and financiers
The Repipe project is funded and implemented in the framework of the Strategic Innovation Program RE:Source. Project leader for Repipe is RISE IVF with Annika Boss as project coordinator. The project includes participants representing several important steps in a circular system to be able to recycle pipe waste:
The Strategic Innovation Program RE:Source has been appointed by the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas. RISE is Program Manager and Johan Felix at Chalmers Industriteknik is Innovation Leader.
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