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Evolution of Continuous Production Technology and Trans- ferable Innovation for recycling of bituminous roofing felts (ECO PROTECTION)

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Problem In North-West Europe alone, 500 kilotons of bituminous waste – like old roofing felts- per year ends as landfill or in cement ovens. This harms the environment. Solution Eco-roofing (Ecorec®), made up of recycled and virgin bitumen, can reduce the EU’s dependency on fossil oil and resulting CO2 emissions. The new way of recycling is a continuous, non-waste technology with a possibility of a local shredding unit combined with licensed technology. This creates a possibility for a widespread use across the EU. It enables old roofing felts to be used as a resource for new roofing felts and other products. It has been demonstrated in a LIFE co-funded project that this technology is a feasible alternative. The Eco-innovation project is a follow up to generate a further market uptake in the EU. The project The project aimed at establishing at least three other bitumen recycling factories in the EU. By surveying the market, demonstrating the results and publicising benefits, the project also seeked to increase take-up. Market conditions like more expensive raw materials and increasing availability of recyclable bitumen, have been in the project’s favour.


• lower emissions of carbon dioxide and a better environment • a comparative and sustainable advantage for those companies that will be involved in the project • less dependency on virgin bitumen and therefore on fossil oil • prevention of landfill or incineration of roofing waste


  • Increasing the level of Ecorec-products within the EU will lower the dependency on virgin bitumen and therefore on fossil oil (bitumen is an oil derivative). This has an economical and social (regional employment) aspect but will also result in lower emissions of carbon dioxide and a better environment because of the recycling – in stead of landfill or incineration - of several kilotons of waste.
  • . Should the project succeed, there will be real environmental benefits: the reduction in CO2 emissions of 1 square meter of Ecorec equals the CO2 emissions of a car, driving 1 kilometre. Added value can be realised because of increasing raw material (bitumen) prices combined with increasing waste dumping fee (which enables Icopal the possibility to acquire less expensive 'second hand’ raw material).
  • The realisation, operation and maintenance of a ECO-PROTECTION-plant will result in a rise in employment and bring about positive social impacts. . However, despite our hopes for the future, due to several reasons, it turned out to be quite challenging to conquer the Dutch market, let alone to start the market uptake within the rest of the EU yet.
  • . This is caused by the deterioration of the economic climate in general, as well as the market entry conditions in particular. Several market entry conditions are not in favour of recycling of bituminous roofing felts and/ or the use of roofing felts with high recycled content, like the relatively low gate fee at Dutch incinerating ovens combined with the banning of the tax on dumping of this kind of waste compared to the costs of recycling.
  • We explicitly ask national & EU authorities to create a level playing field in terms of  recycling as minimum standard for bituminous roofing felts free of tar, asbestos and composites  tax levels for dumping (high), incinerating (moderate) and recycling (zero)

Partners and coordinator

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Esha Infra Solutions BVNetherlands


Assesteenweg 25-29
1740 TernatVlaams-Brabant
Contact point: 
van den Berg, Wouter Jan


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In brief

11/07/2009 to 10/01/2012
Contract number: 

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