Trek to Recycle Scrap Carbon

Trek Bicycle has instituted a full-scale carbon recycling program at its Waterloo, WI-based US manufacturing facility and is now recycling all scrap carbon fiber; the material primarily used in its domestic production. The material that Trek introduced to the cycling world and has pioneered the usage of since 1992 is revered for its strength and weight properties but has long been believed nearly impossible to recycle.

Having seen pallets full of broken carbon frames destined for the landfill, this is good news. The waste stream in the bike industry is seldom addressed and they’ve made no real gains becoming green businesses because most of the manufacturing is in Asia.

We’d like to see photos or an indication of how much carbon Trek is recycling. Also see a challenge go out to the industry to match this effort.

What do you think? Meh?



4 Comments

just like paper recycling, there’s “post-consumer waste” vs scraps from manufacturing process. according to the release, they plan to use the scraps plus “selected warrantee frames”.  obviously, this is a pretty limited program at the moment that they are trying to milk for PR purposes…and if it doesn’t work out or isn’t profitable, you’ll never hear about it again.


i like how carbon is a “material that Trek introduced to the cycling world and has pioneered the usage of since 1992”

interesting, since carbon bikes had already been used to win the TdF 6-7 years BEFORE 1992 by LOOK (Hinault and Lemond) , and in 1990 with Lemond (actually built by Tetraframes which became Calfee)....but of course, Trek has been trying to forget all about Lemond lately.  Also I was under the impression that the original Kestrel bikes were made in the US, which would have pre-dated Trek’s claim as well.

is this what happens when a company is big enough that they need to employ firms to market and publicize, even if they create their own in house department? ...you get professionals who aren’t dyed in the wool bike geeks.  or is it that they have bike geeks who are so professional at their jobs that they have no qualms about stuff like this?

Being on the receiving end of Earth Day press releases, it’s actually just another marketing day like our holidays. That’s the cynic in me.

Graftek - 1975… first carbon frame raced
Vitus Carbone 9 and 7 frames used in the 80’s during the Tour and other PRO races… and they had versions of TT bikes too…
TVT lugged and bonded frames of the 86 Tour…

Ummm… I think the Trek copy-boy needs to do his/her research…

But then I suppose they think Litespeed made the first Ti frames…

This is one of those times I agree with Mark V.  While I applaud the idea, I question it’s implementation and scope.

Then again, I’ve long held a preference for easily recycled steel frames and aluminum components.

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