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Recycling’s fine line

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Building the cost of recycling into a project’s cost is a popular idea, but in a competitive market, extra costs could drive customers to cheaper alternatives, unless recycling is mandated for everyone. Intensely debated is whether government or trade organization mandates would even the playing field.

Bob McGilvray, general manager at Ferrari Textiles Corp., Pompano Beach, Fla., believes recycling can happen without government mandates. “I have seen industries where dominant active participants can foster entire industries to change to new and better products,” he says. “It is possible that such participants, acting responsibly, can softly manipulate their industries into ‘green’ actions. Groupe Ferrari has numerous clients in varied markets who are actively requesting more eco-friendly products. Clients like these are the ones that helped Groupe Ferrari to justify building our Texyloop initiative. I prefer that our company and our clients work toward solutions together, rather than to work under any government mandates.”

Groupe Ferrari implemented environmental manufacturing processes in 1999 to benefit the industry. One process, Regenerative Thermal Oxidation, traps air from manufacturing facilities, then “scrubs,” incinerates and releases it as air cleaner than the surrounding atmosphere.

Groupe Ferrari’s recycling facility, Texyloop, collects PVC-coated polyester across Europe and regenerates it into injection molding granules and reinforcement fibers. Any European manufacturer can recycle PVC at Texyloop, but it’s not economically or environmentally feasible for U.S. manufacturers. U.S. PVC recycling options are very limited and costly at this point, McGilvray says.

“It’s tough to walk the fine line,” he says. “Well-to-do clients generally have no problem. In a tough economy, it gets much harder to be green. If the choice is to build with green or not build at all, green is out.”

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