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CARE names Jacy Bolden director of California Carpet Stewardship Program

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 12.52.33 PMDalton, Ga.—Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) has named Jacy Bolden as the first full-time director of the California Carpet Stewardship Program. Bolden comes to CARE with extensive experience in product stewardship, waste and environmental policy as the founder of consulting firm The JBC Groups. Her work includes corporate sales, solid waste systems, recycling and composting operations, and nonprofit management, as well as municipal and local government program operations and policy development. In 2004, she was named Recycler of the Year by the California Resource Recovery Association.

“We are delighted to welcome Jacy to the California team,” said Robert Peoples, CARE executive director. “The program is growing rapidly and has extensive responsibilities in increasing collection, recycling and market development. Jacy’s depth and breadth of experience is a major addition as we strive to engage stakeholders from carpet mills to local government to retailers, installers and processors in the business of recycling carpet. We have a major challenge to meet the new demands of AB 1158, and Jacy will play a key role in ensuring success.”

In collaboration with Peoples and the CARE team, Bolden will be responsible for the management and administration of all aspects of the program, including delivering services to its target audiences to increase reuse, recycling and diversion of post-consumer carpet discards in California.

Based in the Los Angeles area, Bolden looks forward to traveling extensively to meet with stakeholders across the state.

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California recycling bill signed into law

October 23/30, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 10

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 11.19.36 AMThe two major carpet mills and industry trade associations gave a thumbs down to California’s new carpet recycling law, which will require manufacturers selling carpet in the state to implement a stewardship program that sets a carpet recycling goal of 24% by 2020.

At stake here, observers say, is the risk of losing carpet sales in a state of 40 million people. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will have the authority to establish recycling targets beginning in 2020 and every three years thereafter. Legally, if no approved collection and recycling plan is in place for a particular carpet product, then manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers would be forbidden from selling that product in the Golden State. Worse, they could be subject to fines of $10,000 a day for violating the law.

Mohawk and Shaw are opposed to the new law, as is the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) and the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). Bob Peoples, executive director of CARE, told FCNews, “The bill is law so I do not see any reason to respond. We are working to redraft our plan to comply and will submit the new version per the California schedule.” Mohawk and Shaw declined to comment.

Joe Yarbrough, CRI president, said in a statement that the vast majority of CRI members are not in favor of the law. “AB 1158 will add enormous cost and complexity that will negatively impact consumer costs as well as the health of the carpet industry. AB 1158 will have a detrimental effect on our industry and on the California economy because it includes requirements that are contradictory, makes it likely that any stewardship plan will fail, ignores the economics of the commodities markets, and will potentially close many of the businesses that currently receive subsidies and grants through the existing stewardship program.”

In 2010 the state of California passed legislation requiring manufacturers to develop a collection and recycling program. The program raised millions of dollars from consumer fees, and the carpet industry set a state goal of 16% carpet recycling by 2016. However, the rate was not achieved and fell from 12% to 10% in 2015, after which it grew to 11% in 2016. In April 2017, CalRecycle issued a finding that the program had failed to achieve “continuous and meaningful improvement” in rates of recycling and diversion of post-consumer carpet as required by the law. CalRecycle rejected the industry’s program plans and proposed $3 million in fines against CARE, the industry stewardship group.

Not every flooring entity is against this new law. Interface, along with Tandus Centiva, a Tarkett company, support the new law. In fact, Eric Nelson, vice president strategic alliances, Interface, told FCNews that his company was so committed to this cause that it “stepped away from the industry” to support and lobby for this bill.

“This isn’t a new initiative for us; we’ve been stewards of the environment for more than 20 years and sustainability is at the heart of our closed-loop design and manufacturing processes. Low petroleum prices have deterred recycling efforts, making a law like this imperative to advancing a circular economy. This law encourages us and others within the industry to continue innovating new means of production that continuously reduce our impact on the environment.”

Jay Gould, CEO of Interface, called the law “a positive step forward in driving a truly circular economy in our industry. While we have been committed to recycling product with our own ReEntry product take-back program for two decades, we felt it so important to push for this legislation that we joined a broad coalition of organizations to support and lobby for the bill.”

Supporters of AB 1158 cited the following as reasons why the bill needed to be implemented:

  • Carpet is made of 99% plastic, from fossil fuel, and more than 30 million pounds of carpet was incinerated in California between 2011 and 2015.
  • A CalRecycle waste characterization report found carpet to comprise 1.8% of the overall disposed waste stream in California.
  • Recycling 1,000 square feet of carpet and pad diverts 500 pounds of carpet and padding out of landfills and prevents 913 pounds of CO2 from being emitted into the air (the equivalent of 950 miles driven by car).
  • The demand for carpet is expected to increase to 14.6 billion square feet by 2019, an increase of 4.5%.
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Mannington Mills donates $10,000 to local nonprofit

Keith Campbell, chairman of the board, Mannington Mills, presented the donation check to Tuyen Fiack, executive director of Silicon Valley FACES.
Keith Campbell (right), chairman of the board, Mannington Mills, presented the donation check to Tuyen Fiack, executive director of Silicon Valley FACES.

Salem, N.J.—Mannington Mills, the parent company of San Jose, Calif.-based Burke Industries, has donated $10,000 to the local nonprofit organization Silicon Valley FACES, as part of its commitment to being a good corporate citizen in all of the communities where it has operations.

Silicon Valley FACES is dedicated to creating and promoting an empathetic and inclusive community free of bias, bigotry and violence. Mannington’s donation will support Camp Common Ground (CCG), which is a three-day summer enrichment program. CCG is designed to ease the transition from elementary to middle school, and middle to high school—critical junctures that can be daunting for young people. The program directly addresses the need to engage students by creating an early and effective shared space—the “common ground.” It emphasizes a commitment to learning, positive values, social and relationship management and promotes positive self-esteem.

“It’s both a duty and an honor to support the local San Jose community,” said Keith Campbell, Mannington Mills chairman. “Especially where children are concerned, we need to make sure we are fostering a positive atmosphere and providing a bright future.”

Mannington Mills has a long history of community involvement across its entire organization. Founded in Salem, N.J., in 1915, it is in its fourth generation of family leadership. The company operates under the values: Care, Do the Right Thing, Work Hard-Play Hard and Control Our Own Destiny.

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Carpet industry donates carpet tile to charities

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 1.49.20 PMChicago—Nearly 11,000 pounds of carpet were discarded from showrooms at TheMART in Chicago since NeoCon 2017. Instead of taking the used carpet to landfills, carpet manufacturers and local non-profit organizations have collaborated to repurpose the carpet for social good.

Designs for Dignity, one of the nonprofit collaborators, will use the carpet to renovate the workspaces of other Illinois nonprofits. This partnership is viewed as a win-win-win as carpet tile is diverted from landfills to beneficial reuse; nonprofit organizations gain effective workspaces to nurture growth and success of their missions; and renovation cost is minimized by utilizing in-kind donations and volunteer design and construction support, allowing nonprofit organizations to direct more resources to achieving their mission.

“The carpet industry continually seeks solutions to keep carpet out of landfills,” said Robert Peoples, executive director of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). “Repurposing used carpet generated from renovations for NeoCon is just one example of the carpet industry’s commitment to sustainability.”

Participating carpet manufacturers include Atlas Carpet Mills, Bentley Mills, Interface, J+J Flooring Group, Milliken & Co., Mohawk Group, Shaw Industries Group and Tandus Centiva.

More than 21,000 square yards of carpet tile from showrooms at TheMART Chicago have been donated to non-profits since 2010.

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CARE faces challenging climate for recycling

May 22/29, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 25

By Ken Ryan

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 11.38.01 AMSince its founding in 2002, members of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) have kept over 4.6 billion pounds of waste carpet out of landfills. To this day this non-profit organization charged with advancing market-based solutions for carpet recycling and landfill diversion continues to do good work.

However, CARE’s efforts have become more difficult as the price of oil has fallen. In 2016, CARE reported that its members diverted more than 488 million pounds of carpet from U.S. landfills in 2016, down nearly 6% from 2015.

According to Bob Peoples, executive director, 2016 was a challenging year for CARE in terms of marketplace activity and demand for various fiber types. “[Research] shows the carpet recycling industry is under mounting stress,” he said. “Until oil returns to greater than $70 per barrel, we see continuing turbulent times ahead.”

As of last week, West Texas Intermediate, a benchmark for crude oil, was at around $50 a barrel, and many experts see a range of $45 to $55 continuing for the next several months. The industry would need a significant and prolonged uptick before the recyclers can profit, experts say.

CARE is now facing pressure from the California Carpet Stewardship Program (CalRecycle) and could face fines into the millions of dollars, reports show.

According to Plastics Recycling Update, CalRecycle charges that the collection and recycling plans submitted by CARE have, for years, failed to meet state standards. In March, CalRecycle fined CARE millions of dollars, alleging past plans were insufficient. CARE requested a hearing to contest the fines. Instead of going after carpet wholesalers and retailers, as state law allows, CalRecycle is proposing to focus enforcement solely on manufacturers, the report said. The department has proposed requiring each manufacturer by Aug. 15 to indicate whether they want CARE to continue acting on their behalf, whether they want to join a different stewardship group or whether they will file their own plan. It has also proposed an Oct. 19 deadline to submit new plans.

During a May 16 meeting, Peoples told the CalRecycle staff he thinks the draft enforcement plan is a balanced and fair approach to an economically and technically challenging problem. After conferring with stakeholders, CARE will submit a new plan before the deadline, he said.

California is the only state to have a product stewardship law for carpet. All of CARE’s California Carpet Stewardship Program funding is derived from the carpet assessment charged to California consumers, currently $0.25 per square yard.

VPS program
During its 15th annual conference, held May 9-11 in Indianapolis, Ind., CARE announced the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) will continue to provide financial support of the Voluntary Product Stewardship (VPS) program. CARE has served as the stewardship organization for VPS, which assists sorters of post-consumer carpet diverted from the nation’s landfills. The commitment for 2017 is $4 million.

During the conference, CARE named its Person of the Year and Recycler of the Year for 2016. Dick Kruse, founder of Kruse Carpet Recycling in Indianapolis, was named CARE Person of the Year. Kruse, a board member, has been instrumental in developing CARE into the organization that it is today. “Over its 15-year life, CARE has been supported and enriched by a group of very distinguished individuals; Dick Kruse stands tall among them,” said Brendan McSheehy, board chair. “Dick has lent vision and wisdom. At the same time, he personally labored in the trenches of recycling, supporting his daughter Kasey as she grew and matured in the business. He is a shining example in a dark hour to our industry.”

Interface was honored as CARE’s 2016 Recycler of the Year. Back in 1994, Interface and company founder Ray Anderson adopted a bold vision that involved recycling and sustainability. Since then, Interface has been one of the industry leaders in recycling carpet. It became the first manufacturer to implement a process for the clean separation of carpet fiber from backing on modular carpet tiles. The program, ReEntry, began in 2007 and has processed millions of pounds of material.

“Many industries nowadays stand accused of greenwashing,” McSheehy said. “For some, the image and perception is, in fact, the reality. For others, commitment is barely skin deep. Yet, there are the few that take leadership roles in promoting recycling and disposal avoidance. Beyond this, there are even fewer that hold to that leadership through thick and thin. In the face of several years of reduced oil and virgin polymer pricing, Interface’s continued commitment has never been more challenging or more worthy of recognition as CARE Recycler of the Year.”

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CARE names 2016 award winners

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 11.51.37 AMIndianapolis—Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), the non-profit organization charged with advancing market-based solutions for carpet recycling and landfill diversion, has named Dick Kruse and Interface the organization’s Person of the Year and Recycler of the Year for 2016, respectively. The two honors were awarded during the organization’s 15th annual conference, held here on May 10-11.

Kruse is a member of CARE’s board of directors and founded Kruse Carpet Recycling in Indianapolis. He boasts many years of experience in the carpet recycling industry and has been instrumental in developing CARE into the organization it is today.

“Over its 15-year life, CARE has been supported and enriched by a group of very distinguished individuals,” Brendan McSheehy, CARE board chair, said while announcing the award. “Dick Kruse stands tall among them. Over his many years of service as a board director, Dick has lent vision and wisdom. At the same time, he personally labored in the trenches of recycling, supporting his daughter Kasey as she grew and matured in the business. Dick is a shining example in a dark hour to our industry.”

As a CARE partner, Interface’s founder Ray Anderson adopted a bold vision that involved recycling and sustainability in 1994. Since then, the company has been one of the industry leaders in recycling carpet.

Interface became the first manufacturer to implement a process for the clean separation of carpet fiber from backing on modular carpet tiles. The program, ReEntry, began in 2007 and has processed millions of pounds of material.

“Many industries nowadays stand accused of greenwashing,” said Brendan McSheehy, CARE’s chairman of the board. “For some, the image and perception is in fact the reality. For others, commitment is barely skin deep. Yet, there are the few that take leadership roles in promoting recycling and disposal avoidance. Beyond this, there are even fewer that hold to that leadership through thick and thin—and in the face of several years of reduced oil and virgin polymer pricing, Interface’s continued commitment has never been more challenging or more worthy of recognition as CARE Recycler of the Year.”

 

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CARE releases annual recycling report

May 8/15, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 24

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.11.10 PMIndianapolis—Members participating in the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) program diverted more than 488 million pounds of carpet from U.S. landfills in 2016—down nearly 6% from 2015. That’s according to the group’s annual report, released at CARE’s 15th annual conference held here earlier this month.

Of the carpet diverted to recycling, 167 million pounds were recycled into carpet and other consumer products, 174 million pounds were sent back to the landfill, and 144 million pounds were sent to waste-to-energy and cement kilns.

Despite the impressive numbers, 2016 was a challenging year for CARE in terms of marketplace activity and demand for various fiber types. “Data shows the carpet recycling industry is under mounting stress,” said Dr. Robert Peoples, executive director. “Until oil returns to greater than $70 per barrel, we see continuing turbulent times ahead.”

Other highlights of the report: 72% of recycled post-consumer carpet is manufactured into plastics. This category has grown over the past few years. The amount of material recycled in carpet fiber dropped from 13% to 3%. Carpet backing remained constant at 8% of end products manufactured. Meanwhile, 11% of recycled post-consumer carpet pounds that were recycled went into new carpet. This is considered a true cradle-to-cradle process.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 2.11.14 PMCarpet recycling employed 1,215 people in 2016. This is a decrease of 80 people or 6% vs. the jobs reported in 2015. To date, CARE members have kept over 4.6 billion pounds of waste carpet out of landfills since CARE was founded in 2002.

CARE continues to refine its survey methodology. It began using a mass balance approach in 2013. This methodology focuses material flows by examining inputs and outputs in each step of the recycling process.

CARE is a voluntary, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the landfill diversion, reuse and recycling of waste carpet, through market-based solutions that benefit the economy as well as the environment at large.

For more information about CARE, visit carpetrecovery.org.

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Texan Floor Service joins Fuse Alliance

08dd3581-47e9-46b3-9364-e1381446c0a2Laguna Niguel, Calif.Fuse Alliance has welcomed Texan Floor Service as its newest dealer partner. Texan Floor Service, which serves the Houston area, is a full-service commercial flooring company. With the addition of this member the Fuse Alliance network has grown to 84 professional flooring partners in more than 150 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

“Texan Floor Service brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our network, and we are thrilled to have them as part of our organization,” said Geoff Gordon, executive director at Fuse Alliance. “It’s an exciting time for us as we continue to build our network with commercial flooring companies of this caliber and expand our reach throughout the United States.”

Texan Floor Service is an employee-owned flooring company that specializes in a wide range of commercial flooring market segments and provides a range of flooring products as well as installation, maintenance and repair, and reclamation services. The company is one of Houston’s first commercial flooring companies dedicated to a No Carpet to Landfill policy. Since 2009, the company has partnered with Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) diverting hundreds of thousands of pounds of carpet from landfills and redirecting to a recycling plant in Grapevine, Texas.

“We are committed to cultivating a strong partnership with the Fuse Alliance leadership team and other business throughout the network, and looking forward to the growth and insight that will come from being connected to a network such as Fuse,” said Jeff Hill, president, Texan Floor Service.

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CARE conference: Recycling solutions take center stage

May 23/30, 2016; Volume 30, Number 24

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 4.00.00 PMGreenville, S.C.—Scores of industry members convened at the 14th annual Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) conference here to discuss the ongoing challenges facing the carpet recycling market. The event welcomed a record numbers of attendees and exhibitors.

Bob Peoples, executive director of CARE, said the strong turnout amid tough economic conditions—driven primarily by lower oil prices—underscores the commitment of the recycling community, a network representing collectors, sorters, entrepreneurs and mills.

A year ago, oil prices were about $60 a barrel. To put this in perspective, $70 per barrel is roughly the baseline at which the recycling industry can be stable and healthy. Throughout 2015 and into early 2016 the price of oil fell to below $30 a barrel. At that point, it is much cheaper for vendors to buy virgin material than recycled content. Although the price of oil has rebounded to about $48 a barrel the industry would need a significant and prolonged uptick before the recyclers can profit. “The market is creating limitations that are hurting all of us,” Peoples explained.

Still, the work of CARE forges ahead. The voluntary product stewardship (VPS) program, which is supported by The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) and assists sorters of post-consumer carpet diverted from the nation’s landfills, has received $4.5 million in funding for 2016. Sorters may use funds from the program to partner with their customers to divert carpet and recycle carpet back into useful consumer products. These may include recycled carpet fiber, carpet cushion, broadloom, carpet tiles and a wide range of plastic products.

CARE announced at convention that the PET committee was disbanded in place of an “all fiber” task force, another nod to changing conditions in the marketplace. “It used to be that there was a polyester problem,” said Anthony Cline, operations manager for CARE. “But due to lower oil prices there is now a nylon problem and, thus, there is a fiber problem.”

The decline in oil prices was reflected in recent data showing a 7% decline in recycled output in the fourth quarter of 2015; Q1 2016 will be down as well, Peoples predicted.

Since the economic downturn, the use of polyester has grown dramatically; the issue for collectors and processors has been finding an aftermarket solution for the polymer. On that front, progress continues to be made. During the new products and technology session at the conference, several companies showed their latest tests and innovations toward turning post-consumer PET into a market-based, commercial solution. “These technologies are potential breakthroughs because it takes minimally processed PET carpet,” Frank Endrenyi, advisor to CARE and a polymer consultant, explained.

The School of Engineering and Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut, for example, has developed a process that turns shredded PET into particleboard, which can then be used in construction. The board, which is made of 20% post-consumer carpet, is structurally sound and formaldehyde free. Dr. Brian Brady, who presented at the conference, said his research group is now working on sound-dampening experiments. “In the past 12 months 85% of contractors purchased sound-proofing materials.”

Verdex Technologies, another presenting company, developed a process for the direct conversion of post-consumer PET carpet into high-value, high-volume nonwoven products containing nano/micro fibers. Such end-use products include medical gowns, house wraps and baby diapers.

Verdex has successfully completed two trials, according to Larry Marshall, founder and president.

Resinate Materials Group, a company focused on performance-driven green chemistry, is working on a process to turn PET waste into high-energy polyol. In polymer chemistry, polyols are compounds generally used to product other polymers; for example, coatings including polyurethane and adhesives contain polyols. “There are a lot of different end markets for this,” said Mark Maxwell, president, estimating the global polyol market at 20 billion pounds, with recycled and bio-based polyol growing at twice the rate of the overall polyol market.

The goal, the presenters said, is to take their concepts to trial stage, then marketability and, finally, scalability. Endrenyi was impressed with the presentations, which focused more on technology solutions for PET than in the past.

“Nobody left the room during the presentations, which is a good sign because we have had that in the past,” he said, adding that the progress toward developing market-based solutions for post-consumer PET “is not fast, but it is working.”

 

 

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CARE names recycler, persons of the year

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Jim Lindsey, center, Aquafil USA, accepts the Recycler of the Year award on the company’s behalf.

Dalton—The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), which develops new processes, products, equipment and markets that reuse the valuable raw materials of post-consumer carpet, named Aquafil USA the CARE Recycler of the Year for Aquafil’s historic and continuous consumption of post-consumer nylon 6 carpet across the U.S.

Aquafil’s reclamation of post-consumer carpet is a first step in the Econyl Regeneration System, which creates recycled nylon 6 fibers from post-consumer carpet in a continuous production cycle. Aquafil’s process transforms the nylon 6 back into raw material without any loss of quality. 

“We are pleased to present Aquafil USA with this award, which recognizes Aquafil’s continuous commitment and leadership in sustainable manufacturing and a circular economy,” said Brendan McSheehy, chairman of the board, CARE.

Rocky Ponders, center, accepts his 2016 Person of the Year award.
Rocky Ponders, center, one of CARE’s 2016 Persons of the Year.
Rocky Ponders and Robert Goldberg, both of Columbia Recycling Corporation, were named CARE Persons of the Year. These two outstanding individuals transformed their company’s business model, expanding post-industrial and post-consumer carpet recycling over the past 36 years. As a result, they increased employment from fewer than 25 employees to more than 500 people. Ponders and Goldberg led the company’s growth into production of melt filtered pellets for the compounding industry and the production of carpet cushion manufacturing, using recycled carpet components.
“Over the years, these two innovators have led their company to divert significant amounts of carpet from landfills across the USA through innovations in process technology, equipment design and product development,” said Robert Peoples, executive director of CARE. “We especially want to recognize Rocky as he retires from the day-to-day operations of Columbia Recycling and wish him all the best in his new efforts to further develop the carpet cushion business.”