Can Conveyor Belts Be Recycled?

Conveyor belts are known for transporting a wide range of materials. They’re also the main component found in recycling plants, moving around everything from plastic to metal to be processed. Yet when it comes to the end of a conveyor belts’ lifespan, what happens? Can it be recycled?

This has been a point of contention for many years. In the past, worn down or damaged conveyor belts would be almost exclusively destined to end up in landfill. That’s obviously bad for the environment. However, with the growth in sustainability and going green, there’s a greater emphasis on businesses to dispose of their conveyor belts in an environmentally-friendly way.

The conveyor belt waste issue

From recycling centers to food manufacturing plants, many industries use conveyor belts day in, day out. The prevalence of this usage means they naturally end up with conveyor belts that are damaged beyond repair, and these then have to be replaced.

The longevity of these belts differs drastically depending on what waste material they carry. Heavy and jagged items can have a detrimental effect on the belts, although the likes of greases, fats, and oils can be particularly damaging to this rubber product’s life expectancy.

Their working life can be ten years plus or only a few weeks. If it’s the latter, this can lead to a large build-up in waste rubber belts.

What to do with waste conveyor belts

Even if you use high-quality conveyor belts as found on Fluent Conveyors, it’s inevitable that, at some point, they will become unusable. The good news is they don’t necessarily have to be sent to the landfill. There are various approaches available.

The easiest is to sell your old conveyor belts. This is viable if the belts are not showing any significant wear and tear, and they can be a popular option on the secondary market due to their reduced price. Even if they don’t pass the test, they can be sold as surface lining, flooring, or even for agriculture purposes. You could even repurpose the rubber in other areas for your business, whether this is as rubberized flooring or as car mats.

In terms of recycling, it’s possible to shred the belt rubber and transform it into new products. As for what the shredded rubber can be turned into, new uses include producing economy tires, asphalt pavements, and eco-building materials. If you’re searching for a less demanding way to repurpose this shredded rubber, it can also be used as bark mulch in garden beds.

Limit the waste with the right conveyor belts

Yes, it’s inevitable that conveyor belts will be worn time as time goes on. Yet there’s a big preventative measure you can take in prolonging their lifespan: purchasing the best quality belts available. In that sense, you’re in the right place. Fluent Conveyors is recognized as one of the foremost conveyor companies on the planet, and that is largely down to our dedication to crafting the industry’s best and most reliable products.