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Environmental Policy

It is our policy to conduct normal business activities in a manner that minimises the impact on the environment and to instruct and train our personnel accordingly.

We endeavour to continually improve our environmental performance where possible, by energy management and the purchase of materials from sustainable sources.

Allocated for recycling, and a registered carrier will transfer any waste that cannot be re-used to a licensed waste disposal site.

Ashford’s further commitment to the environment is demonstrated by the recent successful accreditation to Environmental Management System BS ISO 14001: 2004.

The main elements of our Environmental Management System are as follows:

Environmental Policy

Statement by the organisation of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance, which provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental objectives and targets.

Planning 

Legal requirements, objectives, and targets, establishing a management programme. 

Implementation and Operation 

Responsibilities, training, document and operational control and emergency planning.

Checking and Corrective Action 

Monitor and measurement, non-conformance and corrective action procedures and environmental management system auditing.

Management Review 

Assess progress against defined policy, objectives, and procedures. Commitment to seek continual Improvement.

The disposal of old PVC-U windows

How can PVC be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way?

There is a range of alternative methods available for deriving residual value from used plastics products. The optimal route for a given product will be determined by assessing a combination of environmental, logistical, economic and market considerations. Therefore, the whole range of waste management options should be considered when deciding on the treatment of plastic waste, including PVC-U windows.

Recycling 

The claim that PVC is not recyclable is simply not true. PVC, like all other thermoplastic materials, can be recycled relatively straightforwardly. The primary aim of recycling is to elicit a net environmental benefit through reducing the use of primary resources and/or diverting resources from the landfill. The European PVC industry has most definitely achieved real successes in this regard, using the RecoVinyl scheme to co-ordinate the collection and recycling of post-consumer PVC building products. It has long been common practice to recover and recycle factory wastes and/or off-cuts after the window has been fabricated. These materials are then incorporated into the virgin polymer to produce further long life products including window profiles.

Reco-Vinyl - Vinyl 2010 Voluntary Commitment

The Reco-Vinyl Scheme is a European-wide initiative to collect and recycle post-consumer PVC building products to support the Vinyl 2010 Voluntary Commitment. Consistently, since the inception of the scheme, the UK has led the way in the volume of PVC collected and recycled in Europe.

Regardless of the materials involved, a potential barrier to cost-effective recycling of post-use products is the ability to retrieve, economically, meaningful quantities of used products to supply a recycling scheme with its feedstock. In Germany, PVC-U windows were commercially introduced some twenty years before they were in the UK. Hence, German companies developed technologies to recycle post-use PVC products, which may arise as demolition wastes, for example.  

Tonnage remains relatively modest because PVC products last so long and there simply is not enough waste feedstock yet to input into the recovery and recycling process. As tonnage of the post, consumer PVC products inevitably increase, then the European industry will have the technology and infrastructure to recycle them in commercially viable and environmentally beneficial schemes.

Vinyl 2010 includes no fewer than 20 projects covering the entire PVC lifecycle. These include operating collection and recycling schemes, pilots and trials, Research & Development, studies, surveys and other initiatives. All collection projects have clear targets with deadlines and achievements that are reviewed each year in the Progress Reports. 

Incineration

The incineration of PVC need not present any special problems relating to emissions of dioxins. Modern incinerators in Europe are designed to meet stringent EU limits on emissions of a number of substances including dioxins and hydrogen chloride. It should be noted, however, that both of these substances are formed by other materials and not just PVC.