TenCate Grass has widened its involvement in recycling synthetic turf by adding chemical recycling to the mix. Together with companies ExxonMobil and Cyclex, TenCate Grass has launched a program in the US that will process end-of-life turf to a raw material that can be used to produce new turf of at least similar quality.
The companies will start by taking 50 shredded synthetic turf fields at a plant in California before the shredded pieces are shipped to a Cyclex facility in Texas. Here, the pieces are pre-processed prior to their delivery to ExxonMobil in Baytown.
The oil giant will use its proprietary Exxtend technology to break down the pieces of synthetic turf into its molecular building blocks. These building blocks then become the raw material for making new, high-quality products.
“At TenCate, we are committed to leading the industry and moving sustainability forward in a meaningful way,” said Joe Fields, President and CEO of TenCate Grass Americas. “We understand the issue of end-of-life synthetic turf, and we have taken it upon ourselves to find a true solution for the entire industry. Our goal is to keep turf out of landfills and put it back to use.”
History in recycling
In 2020, TenCate Grass was one of the founding partners of Dutch synthetic turf recycling company GBN-AGR. Together with Sport and Leisure Group (Domo Sports Grass and Limonta Sport) and Edel Grass (Antea sports field installations), the TenCate Grass Group companies Greenfields and CSC Sport introduced a solution to clear the growing mountain of discarded turf that was being found all over the country. GBN-AGR uses a wet process to separate the infill from the carpet before the carpet is shredded and converted into a conglomerate that can be used for making products like picnic benches, kick boards or landing stages.
The company also pioneered its Ecocept concept, whereby discarded synthetic turf is converted onsite into an e-layer.
TenCate now wants to expand its recycling efforts worldwide.
“As the global leader of synthetic turf, we have made sustainability a keystone in everything we do,” Fields said.
According to the Synthetic Turf Council, the custodian of the industry in North America, approximately 25,000,000 sqm of synthetic turf has been installed in the country.
TenCate Grass is the second European company that has entered the market for recycling synthetic turf in the United States, as Re-Match from Denmark is currently busy building a plant in Pennsylvania.