Circular recycling of artificial grass gets underway!
Amsterdam, Februari 10, 2020
On 7 January, GBN Artificial Grass Recycling (AGR) was granted a permit for recycling artificial grass at a new, final location on the Santoriniweg in Amsterdam. This confirms the imminent arrival of the first circular processing plant for end-of-life artificial grass in the Netherlands; the site is practically ready to open. The rental agreement with the Port of Amsterdam has been signed and the location is therefore ready for use. The final facilities are under construction and the machines are expected on site soon. And the grass mats accepted in 2019 have already been moved from the temporary to the final location.
In short, we are ready for the 2020 season and the procedure for accepting old artificial grass is under way. Because a lot has happened recently and a lot more will be happening, this newsletter will tell you all about how artificial grass mountains in the Netherlands are being resolved once and for all.
We will give you full details of our revolutionary treatment process further down. But because we are so incredibly proud of it, we would like to point out to our short animation:
GBN AGR and Port of Amsterdam sign rental agreement
In September 2019, GBN AGR reached an agreement with the Port of Amsterdam (PoA) about the new, final location for GBN AGR. The address is Santoriniweg 20, in the middle of the Amsterdam’s Westelijk Havengebied. This area has been designated by PoA as a circular cluster. So GBN AGR fits in well here with its recycling activities.
GBN AGR and its founding partners Ten Cate Grass Group, GreenFields, CSC Sport, Antea Sport, Edel Grass, Sports & Leisure Group and Domo Sports Grass have, moreover, also given an explicit guarantee to the municipality of Amsterdam that they will never leave an artificial grass mountain on site. There’s no need for that because GBN AGR offers the first complete circular solution for processing artificial grass.
Eric van Roekel, director of GBN (left) and James Hallworth, Commercial Manager, Circular & Renewable Industry of the Port of Amsterdam sign the rental agreement thus confirming a circular cooperation.
Last year many municipalities and sports clubs were at their wits’ end. They had no options for disposing of their old artificial grass responsibly, let alone for recycling it. In the meantime the artificial grass mountain continued to grow. Because we knew we were close to launching our definitive circular solution, GBN AGR opened temporary locations last year in Hoorn and Amsterdam where artificial grass could be dropped off. Now that the new facility is ready to receive artificial grass, we have started moving the rolls of artificial grass from the temporary locations to the final location.
The relocation of mats from the temporary locations to the final processing plant is in full swing.
Last year was marked by the fact that we obtained a permit for recycling activities in Amsterdam at the new Santoriniweg site. The final permit was granted on 7 January after a period of seven months. We can reflect on effective cooperation with the Environment Service Noordzeekanaalgebied (ODNZKG) and our advisers who assisted with the permit and thank them for their expertise and support. The permit complies with all the new standards. The entire location is liquidtight, for example, and an advanced system has been developed to collect the water on site and filter out small parts. Truly a future-proof and state-of-the- art location!
In October 2019, following a period during which the permits had been applied for and the new processing location had been designed, we started building work at the final location. The first phase consisted of preparation of the site for construction. After significant ground improvement, the site was equipped with foundations, a sewerage system, an electricity network and it was levelled out. The facility is surrounded by a wall which is four metres high. Separate compartments were installed at the site for storing different types of artificial grass pitch. Then the foundations for the storage and processing halls were laid and the whole site was asphalted to make it liquidtight, an important condition for permit authorisation.
The last phase has now started
We have already started building the halls and installing the recycling facilities. In recent months the installations have been fully tested and have now gone into production. These are scheduled to be fully operational by the end of March and we expect to start the circular recycling of end-of-life artificial grass as early as April.
Certification and guaranteed circular processing
After years of problems and uncertainty in our sector, trust is crucial. Together with its chain partners, GBN AGR fully guarantees the circular processing of end-of-life artificial grass. But you shouldn’t just hear it from us. We have therefore applied to the prestigious agency KIWA for certification for our unique treatment process and we will soon have a unique innovation certificate. In doing so, GBN AGR is offering a full guarantee and setting the benchmark for circular processing and a consistent supply of high-quality circular raw materials.
Let’s look ahead: we’re ready for 2020
Now that the permit has been granted and the rental contract signed, we are ready for the 2020 season. The first pitches are already being delivered. In March, construction will be completed and the site fully operational; we will be opening in April. This artificial grass recycling plant is the first of its kind in Europe!
The treatment process
After all this talk about our unique treatment process, you are probably wondering how it all works. On the right you see a useful infographic which explains Our circular processing of end-of-life artificial grass in five steps. Click the image for a bigger size.
A sustainable business case
Our solution is a sustainable one, both economically and in terms of environmental impact. It is also realistic because it is based on a solid business case and put forward by the market itself. GBN AGR works closely with various chain partners. This guarantees the necessary investment for processing sufficient volumes of artificial grass.
The GBN AGR founding partners are
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