Trek Bicycle has started a full-scale carbon recycling program at its US manufacturing facility and is now recycling all scrap fibre.
Trek in the UK has been recycling a small amount of warranty and damaged frame carbon fibre but the US program is much bigger, and of great significance for the bike industry.
Through a partnership with Materials Innovation Technologies (MIT LLC) and its wholly owned subsidiary MIT-RCF, a South Carolina carbon reclamation facility, Trek completed a three month trial period to determine the viability of adopting the step as an official part of the manufacturing process.
MIT’s President and CEO, Jim Stike said: “Throughout the trial period we worked with Trek to show them how beneficial carbon recycling can be to their overall business practices.
“Working with a world leader like Trek to help them become the first bicycle company to begin recycling carbon fibre is very exciting for us.”
Throughout the manufacturing process, Trek collects excess trimmings, non-compliant molded parts and combines it with select reclaimed warranty frames to send to MIT’s facility to begin their reclamation process. Reclaimed carbon fibre is currently being used in reinforced thermoplastic applications while research and development is ongoing for use in automotive, aerospace, medical, and recreational applications.
“One of the company’s major initiatives is that we will work to drive more eco-friendly processes into everything that we do,” said Trek's senior composites manufacturing engineer, James Colegrove.
“Carbon fibre recycling holds massive potential not just for Trek, but the entire industry.”