While Olympians will have their eyes on the gold during this year's Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Mannington Commercial will be keeping its eyes on the green. The flooring manufacturer announced exclusively to Contract magazine that it has partnered with 3M Canada Company, a technology company and the official supplier of large-scale graphics for the 2010 Winter Games, to reclaim and recycle all 3M-produced graphics used at this year’s games. (Watch a video detailing this unique process at TalkContract.com)
The 200,000-plus sq. ft. of vinyl clings and wraps will grace venues such as the Richmond Olympic Oval, Vancouver Olympic Centre, and Pacific Coliseum, as well as 500 buses and 4600 vehicles, throughout the duration of the Games. In April, 3M will collect the used graphics for Mannington to recycle into Premium Tile. The tile, which is frequently used in the commercial education, healthcare, and retail markets, boasts a 25 percent recycled content level, featuring post-consumer waste stream materials such as dry wall and VCT.
The project is a first of its kind for the industry, according to David Kitts, vice president of sustainability at Mannington Commercial. Graphic materials, which are made from layers of film material, adhesive, and graphics protection were previously unable to be recycled as the adhesive would gum up the recycling process.
“What’s unique about 3M Canada is that their adhesive allows their material to stick well but remove more easily. We found that it did not mess us up in processing. It’s compatible with our equipment and processes and we’ve done it small scale,” says Kitts.
“It’s compatible with our equipment and processes, and we’ve done it small scale,” he continues. “When we get all this material in April is when we’ll put the test to work. We feel it will be successful.” Kitts says Mannington will look to partner with 3M on future projects to recover and recycle graphics materials at their other large venues.
Mannington Commercial, which has made sustainability a significant focus and a company core value, has gained Gold rating for all of its hard surface products to the NSF-332-2007 standard. Other sustainability initiatives include recycling carpet into carpet backing, carpet into hard surface, drywall into VCT, and VCT into VCT.
For more on how the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games will be the greenest Olympics to date, read " Vancouver Convention Centre Pushes Limit on Green Design."