The Derbyshire-based Recovinyl member recently spent £400,000 on new plant and equipment, including shredders and metal separators, so it can now handle 3,000 tonnes of post-consumer PVC-U frames a year.
Merritt managing director Simon Readman said: Most old window frames go into skips then onto waste transfer stations. I dont think theyre aware that they can be recycled, so most end up in landfill.
With the help of Recovinyl incentive payment Readmans company is able to pay £110/tonne for PVC-U frames thought to be the highest price in the industry. Its six-acre Ilkeston site can store thousands of old frames. So were not going to turn window frames away, he said.
Merritt has been recycling off-cuts and mis-measures since 1995 and previously dismantled PVC-U frames by hand. Its new equipment allows for the automated processing of old window frames, thus greatly increasing capacity.
The frames are reprocessed into new plastic building products, such as cavity closers, at its 60,000 sq ft extrusion, manufacturing and recycling facility.
A year ago there were very few U-PVC windows coming out, but now its a different story, he said.
Estimates have put the amount of waste PVC window frames at about 12,000 tonnes a year, meaning Merritt could have a slice of a quarter of the market. And depending on demand, it is looking to expand. It has had deliveries from as far as North Wales and Newcastle and is willing to collect within a radius of 100 miles. Frames need to be clean and de-glazed.