One of the largest bicycle manufacturer in the United States is now recycling all scrap carbon used in domestic manufacturing.
Carbon fiber, the material that Trek introduced to the cycling world and has pioneered the usage of since 1992 is revered for its strength and weight properties but has been believed to be nearly impossible to recycle. Nevertheless, Trek has launched a full-scale carbon recycling program at its Waterloo, WI-based US facility and is now recycling all scrap carbon fiber, which is primarily used in its domestic production. The bicycle company completed a three month trial period to determine the viability of adopting the step as an official part of the manufacturing process through a partnership with Materials Innovation Technologies (MIT LLC), a South Carolina carbon reclamation facility that is revolutionizing the carbon recycling practices. The carbon fiber selected for recycling will include scraps remaining from frame production, non-compliant molded parts, and selected frames that have been returned on warranty claims, or damaged in testing. The initiative will keep up to 54,000 pounds (24,500 kg) of carbon fiber out of landfills and for repurposed use, every year. Materials Innovation Technologies president, Jim Stike adds:
“It actually takes 96 percent less energy to reclaim a carbon fiber than it does to build a new virgin fiber.”
[via Cycling News]