Ideas for an extendable compost bin and a modular roof tile with pre-drilled nail holes share the top £1,000 prize in Recofloor’s first-ever design competition to find an innovative product that will increase the market options for post-consumer vinyl flooring.
The two winning group submissions from Hertfordshire University students will each receive £500. One of the winners will also get the opportunity to work with Recofloor’s founders, flooring manufacturers Altro and Polyflor, to produce a prototype of their winning products.
Launched in March by the UK’s award-winning national vinyl flooring recycling scheme, the competition was open to product design students at several Universities.
Currently the main end-applications for uplifted flooring are traffic cones and other road calming products due to contamination levels of screed and scrim on the back of this material.
With more than 40,000 tonnes of vinyl flooring waste arising each year in the UK, Recofloor wanted to identify and progress new applications that can accept more of this material type and utilise its specific properties to generate a higher return than existing recycling options.
The designers of the compost bin – Matthew Lodge, James Lyttle, Shivani Majithia and Stephen Rothwell and the roof tile – Cem Gulcen, Sufyan Akram, Anchal Goel and Ang Waye Shyang will receive their prizes at the annual Recofloor Awards event in March 2015.
Recofloor’s mentor for the project Nichola Mundy praised the students’ inspiration and creative designs, which included a plant pot, bicycle helmet, relief shelter and a survival tool. She said: “This impressive and varied selection made the decision for our judging panel very difficult.”
She added: “We will combine the technical knowledge of the flooring and recycling industries with the university’s and students’ design expertise to progress this work further and hope to work with other Universities in the future.”
UH project coordinators, Dr Iman Mansouri and Dr George Haritos said: “We are proud of our affiliation with Recofloor and greatly appreciate their support for our students. The students who won this prize are excellent ambassadors for our engineering programmes and their skills are an endorsement of our business facing agenda.”