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Solmax collaborates with TenneT and SWITCH for recycling of geotextiles in energy projects in Europe

News | March 25, 2024 | By:

World-leading geosynthetics manufacturer Solmax has collaborated with TenneT and SWITCH to successfully recycle geotextiles used in power grid projects. This initiative resulted in the repurposing of 80 tons of materials destined to become waste during the construction of a new power highway, utilizing approximately 500,000 m2 (598,000 yd2) of geotextile used as a temporary separation layer beneath work sites and roads. Solmax’s commitment, alongside TenneT, to minimize waste in the production and use of geotextiles is a crucial step towards realizing a circular economy in the sector, diverting waste from landfills and creating a valuable resource that can be reintegrated into projects.

Facing the final waste stream challenge, TenneT had been recycling construction materials such as steel, waste wood, grout, and concrete. The search for a sustainable solution for geotextile end of service life is highlighted by Servaes Huvenaars, project manager at TenneT: “This challenge led us to innovate and push for a solution that not only addresses waste but also promotes sustainability.”

In collaboration with the SWITCH contracting group (comprising Strukton, Mobilis, and Oosterhof Holman) and TenneT, Solmax has developed a socially responsible and sustainable solution for managing the end of service life for geotextiles. This partnership has been instrumental in developing a recycling process that not only mitigates environmental impact but also lays the foundation for future recycling initiatives. Despite facing challenges such as soil contamination removal, the collaboration has led to an effective recycling process that transforms used MIRAFI® Geolon HMi-5* into polypropylene granules, re-entering the Solmax production chain to be reused in new products.

This collaborative effort’s success is a testament to the power of partnership in achieving sustainability goals. The initiative between Solmax, TenneT, and SWITCH has set a new benchmark for recycling geotextiles, proving that with trust and commitment, sustainable solutions are within reach. “We are honored by the recognition of our innovative approach and inspired by its potential to encourage further sustainable practices in the industry,” said Gijs Groen, sustainability manager, EMEA at Solmax. “By reusing materials, we contribute to the conservation of the earth’s resources, reinforcing the principle that reusing is a foundational pillar of sustainable development for our future.”

* MIRAFI Geolon HMi-5 is only available in EMEA. Learn more about Solmax here.

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