Grodan recycling service

After a season of productive vegetable growing the growing media consist of useful raw materials for next life applications. Therefore, a recycling process is beneficial for the parties involved and growers play an important role in the successful recovery of these raw materials. That’s why we created this document, to provide growers using Grodan growing media with best practices and relevant information to organise the handling, recycling and disposal of used Grodan substrate.

The grodan recycling circle

Preparation of used substrate for the recycling process

After the growing season the used substrate are made available for the recycler.

Optimization of the recycling process starts already during the cropping period. Proper crop management in the 6th phase of the Grodan 6-PHASE model enables a decrease of total recycling costs and increases the quality of reusable substrate granulate (RSG). In this phase water content is reduced as root activity decreases because of the crop’s declining performance, but still enables steering of the remaining substrate water content. With low water content in the substrate at the end of the cropping period, only a minimal amount of valuable nutrients will be lost. A low water content also results in optimisation of transport costs. 

Why is the water content of the used substrate important?

For recycling purposes the water content of the substrate slabs is most optimal at approximately 20% (v/v, measured with GroSens Multisensor) before cutting-off the crops (maximum crop stem is 3 centimeter). A slab with dimensions 100x20x7.5cm with ideal water content weighs approximately 3 kilograms.

Too low water content in used substrate will result in: 

  • dust formation during handling in the recycling process. A minimal moisture content of 15% (w/w) is advised to prevent this
  • less breakdown of the substrate structure resulting in a lower density of the used substrate. The lower the density, the lower the volume, the lower the costs of transportation.

Too high water content in used substrate will result in:

  • a higher residual water fraction. As water treatment is expensive, the total recycling costs will increase. It is better to reuse the water (containing useful components) in the greenhouse
  • a higher risk of uncontrolled water leachate emissions into the environment as, during storage and transportation, leachate may be lost.

Characteristics and safety of the used substrates

Approximately 52m3 of EOL substrate will become available from each hectare of greenhouse area. This used substrate material can be considered as virgin material containing nutrient solution and organic material mainly from plant roots. The composition of the nutrient solution is dependent on the growers’ recipes and the end of growing season procedure. An idea of the estimated composition and characteristics of the Grodan substrate and the separated fractions in the various phases can be found in the Grodan Recycling Manual.

Recycling partners

We continuously initiate, facilitate and manage recycling initiatives worldwide. Especially in Europe we gained a lot of knowledge and experience in reuse, recycling and upcycling of used stone wool products. R&D, continuous improvement and eco-design will offer the opportunity to extend the range of stone wool recycling loops in the future.

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North America
North America

North America
Europe
Europe

Europe
Australia
Australia

Australia

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Los Angeles
Los Angeles

Grodan works with one of the largest commercial recycling organizations in California that oversees 250,000 customers. The recycler can arrange shipment or accept the material to its site where the mineral wool is processed into an industrial bedding to fight erosion. To find out how you can join this network contact below.

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Palm Springs
Palm Springs

Grodan is proud to work with the leading compost recycling service provider in the San Jacinto Valley. Grodan mineral wool is accepted at their processing facility where the mineral wool is combined with other incoming feedstocks to create a moisture rich finished compost.

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Toronto
Toronto

Grodan has partnered with one of the leading agricultural recycling service providers in all of Canada. This partnership has been performing recycling services for Grodan mineral wool customers the past three years recycling thousands of tons of mineral wool per year into compost.

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Vancouver
Vancouver

Grodan has worked with the leading agricultural recycling solutions supplier for the past 5 years. Each year Grodan collaborates in the recycling of 3,000 to 5,000 tons of stonewool into compost

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Salinas
Salinas

Grodan stonewool can be effectively recycled alongside traditional green waste. Simply remove the plastic and any contamination and toss the pure stonewool into your green waste bin. Need to self-haul or work with a 3rd party? Contact your local Grodan representative to connect your hauler with the recycler.

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Kelowna
Kelowna

Grodan has reached an agreement with one of the leading waste hauling and recycling facilities in the region. Grodan customers can use the services that can haul the material from your site and create a finished compost.

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Quebec
Quebec

Sherbrooke, Montreal and Quebec City: Grodan is proud to work with the leading supplier of compost in the province of Quebec. The recycler has three facilities throughout the province that can accept Grodan mineral wool. All products must be de-sleeved and all shipping must be arranged by your local solid waste hauler. Contact your local representative to participate and get your mineral wool recycled.

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Rifle
Rifle

Do you grow in the mountains and want your mineral wool recycled? Simply contact your local Grodan representative and our local recycling service provider in the Rifle region will drop off a container and have the material recycled through their proprietary processing line. All mineral wool media must be de-sleeved for acceptance.

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Cleveland
Cleveland

Grodan is proud to work with the leading supplier of compost in the state of Ohio. Growers must de-sleeve the plastic film and our recycler will handle the rest from there.

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Netherlands
Netherlands

Venray: Biemans Group
Emmen: PreZero
Wateringen: Renewi

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Denmark
Denmark

Odense: Marius Pedersen A/S
Sandholt: Pedersen

End-use in Rockwool stone wool

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France
France

Guipavas: Recycleurs Bretons
Saint Remy de Provence: Azur Trade

End-use in Compost / Rockwool stone wool / Brick Industry

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Austria
Austria

Schwechat: GBC Österreich

End-use on Eco Green roofs

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United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Kent: Material Change ltd.
Helmdon: Material Change ltd.

End-use in the Brick Industry

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Finland
Finland

Närpes: Simons Transport

End-use in Composting

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Belgium
Belgium

Ranst: Meeus BV

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Germany
Germany

Ganderkesee: K-Nord GmbH
Eitting: Wurzer Umwelt GmbH

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Norway
Norway

Over Grodan wholesale partner contact Grodan

End-use in Composting

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Sweden
Sweden

Sandholt Denmark: Pedersen

End-use in Rockwool stone wool

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Wingfield
Wingfield

L.F. Jeffries ltd.

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