Trek shows pedal power in carbon recycling

One year after piloting the bike industry's first carbon fibre recycling program, Trek Bicycle has recovered over 31,750kg of material from its manufacturing facility in Wisconsin, US.

The bike manufacturer entered into a partnership with Materials Innovation Technologies (MIT) last April to divert the fibre from landfill through a closed loop production process.

All manufacturing scraps, non-compliant frame components, and select reclaimed warranty frames now undergo reprocessing at MIT for reuse in reinforced thermoplastic applications in the aerospace, automotive and medical industries.

Trek’s senior composites manufacturing engineer Jim Colegrove said the company was proud of the results it had achieved during the first 12 months.

“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,” he said.

Trek began manufacturing its OCLV-carbon frames in 1992 and has since grown into a world leader in carbon technology, developing road and mountain bike frames from the space-age material.

The carbon recycling program is one of many sustainable efforts Trek has embarked on in recent years.

Other initiatives include recycling aftermarket product packaging for the Bontrager brand, sourcing frames and components from neighbouring factories to reduce shipping emissions, and converting one of its production facilities entirely to wind power.

Maxine Perella

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