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Earth Day news: Tons of carbon recycled

Published April 23, 2012

WATERLOO, WI (BRAIN) Monday April 23 2012 11:09 AM MT—Trek Bicycle announced Monday, the day after Earth Day, that it has recycled more than 70,000 pounds of carbon fiber since it instituted its recycling program last year.

While Trek claims to be the first bike company to start a carbon fiber recycling program, Specialized and Advanced Sports International (parent of Fuji, Kestrel and SE and Breezer) also recycle carbon. All three companies work with South Carolina-based Material Technologies to recycle carbon scrap materials from production and damaged products.

Material Innovation Technologies repurposes the material for use in reinforced thermoplastic applications, including aerospace, automotive, medical and recreational applications.

“We’re really proud of the results that we have had in just one year,” said Trek’s senior composites manufacturing engineer Jim Colegrove. “Now that carbon has become such a commonly used material in cycling, it’s important for all brands to consider the entire life cycle of a product.”

In other environmental efforts, Trek has adopted recycled aftermarket product packaging for Bontrager products, sources frames and components from neighboring factories to reduce shipping emissions, and has converted its Waterloo facility entirely to wind power.

At ASI, environmental efforts include making showers, indoor bike parking and locker rooms available for employees who ride bikes to its Philadelphia headquarters. ASI also has switched to flourescent light bulbs and installed motion sensors to dim lights when no one is nearby in its warehouse; those efforts, begun in 2010, reduced energy costs by 14 percent.

"It’s not just something we do to make us feel good,” said ASI's Alice Kodama, the company's advocacy and sustainability manager. “Our customers can feel good too because they know they can save on gas with their new bike and that it came from a business committed to going green.”

Topics associated with this article: Advocacy/Non-profits, DEI and Sustainability

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