An industry program aimed at reducing the environmental impact of vinyl waste in Europe more than doubled its annual volume of PVC recycled last year to more than 85 million pounds.
Partners in the Vinyl 2010 project had collected and recycled 40 million pounds of material in 2004, according to the group.
However, Vinyl 2010's annual report said studies show the quantity of PVC waste available for collection is substantially less than the program predicted at its launch in 2000.
The group blamed ``the longer-than-expected life cycle of PVC products,'' and direct reuse of products such as PVC window profiles. Vinyl 2010 also blamed market conditions that make it cheaper to export or landfill waste than to recycle it in Europe.
The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers in Brussels, Belgium, organized the voluntary program.
Other highlights from Vinyl 2010's report:
* Since 2000, there has been a 20 percent drop in sales of lead stabilizers.
* The European PVC Window and Related Building Products Association said it achieved its target of recycling 50 percent of ``available, collectable'' post-consumer PVC window frames. New collection plans were established in Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands.
* Europe's plastic pipe and fittings manufacturers recycled 67 percent of available waste from their products in 2005, exceeding their 50 percent goal.
Last year Vinyl 2010 established a program to recycle PVC construction waste through financial incentives to accredited recovery firms and recyclers. That led to nearly 31 million pounds of PVC being recycled.