MDF Recovery shortlisted for TTJ Innovation Award

August 31, 2017

MDF Recovery has been shortlisted for the Timber Trades Journal Innovation Award – Innovative Product Development 2017.

The award entry charts the development of the company’s game-changing technology over the last six years.

The technology, a genuine world-first, offers a commercially viable process to recover wood fibre from used or off-cuts of MDF. It is the first ever alternative to landfilling or incinerating MDF and allows recovered fibres to be reintegrated into fibreboard production or used for the manufacture of high quality thermal insulation products.

Craig Bartlett, Co-Founder and Managing Director of MDF Recovery, said: “Commercial pull for recycling of this problematic waste stream has been evident from all parts of the supply chain as interest in the Circular Economy widens and the demand for closed loop recycling grows.

“MDF manufacturers face unprecedented increases in cost of raw materials as use of biomass for energy generation increases, in some cases this is extending to threaten security of supply as well. Recycling waste MDF would alleviate these pressures.

“The retail sector is heavily reliant on MDF for shop fittings and in-store furnishes. It is one of the few remaining barriers to the achievement of 100% recycling rates in an industry that is often the lead in driving forward sustainability initiatives. With such prominent CSR programmes in the public domain, it is no longer acceptable to rely on the “no waste to landfill” mantra.”

Earlier this year, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK, committed £250,000 to MDF Recovery to assist in the technology’s ongoing development. Further support has come from Innovate UK and a group of angel investors.

Another prominent advocate and investor is the W Howard Group, a major manufacturer of MDF profiles. The company’s Group Chief Executive, Jonathan Grant, says that recycling its waste offcuts, and potentially those of its customers, will have a massive environmental effect enabling a closed-loop supply chain. The company will also be able to offer its customers the only MDF Mouldings on the market with a recycled content, again showing the way W Howard is innovating and planning for the future.

Craig added: “Our technology has genuine global potential. We have already successfully patented our process in European countries, Eurasia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea. Patents are pending in Brazil and India. China also offers huge potential – the Chinese MDF market is the same size as the total European market and the technology should be of particular appeal given the country has a limited supply of raw material.

“We conservatively estimate that within five years, MDF Recovery will be a £10million-plus business, processing as much as 60,000 tonnes of UK waste and three million tonnes globally.”
Craig will be presenting MDF Recovery’s award application on August 23rd with the winners being announced at the TTJ Awards Dinner at the Brewery, London, on September 29th.

The Timber Trades Journal (TTJ) has been the definitive publication for the timber industry since 1873.