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RE: Leather waste reuse
Is the shoe leather to which you refer from a chrome-tanning process (as
opposed to vegetable tanning)? If the waste is chrome-based usage may be
Veg-tanned leather allows more flexibility with process waste management.
Three tanneries with which we deal now beneficially use their wastewater
treatment sludges as soil amendments. At least one of them has been
exploring the use of hair waste as an added component of the soil
Scrap leather from a veg-tanning process also offers a source of
slow-release nitrogen. Penn State University was working on an artificial
soil comprised of waste materials...ground veg-tanned leather reportedly
would have provided an excellent nitrogen source for the blend. Although
grinding and blending such a high-value material to create a soil amendment
(or perhaps a fertilizer with the addition of some woodash/potash) may be a
last resort it's still better than disposal.
The tanneries also seem to focus on using trim waste for making leather
trims, business advertising items, or other secondary products. A few uses
* use scrap to make key rings and ring attachments with the company
* I've also seen leather coasters, soda/beer can holders, placemats, and
other items (also with company logos)
* supplying hobby shops/flea markets/schools with scrap
* one company made a really nice looking wall-sized western-motif mural out
of scrap...it looked great in their lobby!!
* one company also had an outlet for ground leather but refused to identify
the use (if I remember right they were paid about $8 per pound for the
From: Tim Greiner [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2000 3:49 PM
Subject: Leather waste reuse
A shoe manufacturer generates a large amount of leather waste in its
cutting operations. The firm has an excellent source reduction program to
maximize raw material utilization using laser measurement and cutting
methods... but trimmings are inevitable and expensive! Right now they are
land filling the scrap leather.
Has anyone seen or can any of you come up with value-added uses of such
scrap leather? I have searched P2pays.org and the net and am aware of
scrap reuse where scrap is defibered, mixed with binding agents, and
applied on leather using an injection molding compound to produce a leather
Any other reuse ideas would be appreciated.
Kerr, Greiner, Anderson and April, Inc.
47R Englewood Road
Gloucester, MA 01930
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