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CARE awards $2 million in grants

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.39.45 PMSacramento, Calif.Carpet America Recovery Effort’s (CARE) California Carpet Stewardship Program has formally signed contracts to distribute approximately $2 million in grant funding for six capital improvement and three product testing projects, with 85% of funding allocated for California-based projects. In total, the award funding will result in millions of pounds of recycled California-generated post-consumer carpet (PCC) output and tens of new California jobs by the end of 2016.

The grant funding supports capital investment, infrastructure and/or equipment that will process or manufacture products utilizing California-generated PCC, as well as product testing and research and development activities that investigate the use of PCC to manufacture established products, test or certify new or reformulated products, and/or feasibility studies on potential new uses of PCC. 
 
Awarded projects represent a significant expansion in California PCC capacity through enhanced or improved operations at one existing California facility, the support of one out-of-state pilot using California PCC with potential for in-state operations in future years, and the establishment of four new PCC operations in California (200% increase in the number of California PCC facilities). 
 
Grantees and a description of their projects are listed below:
  • American Fiber Cushion, Dalton, awarded $250,000 (Cycle 1A) – American Fiber Cushion has committed to working with California carpet recyclers to process and ship California PCC recycled output fibers to its existing Georgia facility to be remanufactured into new Tier II (no further processing needed for sale to end consumer) recycled products for resale. The company intends to use this project as a pilot operation for a future PCC processing facility in California.
  • Carpet Solutions, Carson, Calif., awarded $375,000 (Cycle 1A) – Through the installation of cleaning and pelletizing machines, Carpet Solutions will improve the quality of post-consumer nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 carpet fiber processed at its existing California based facility. The improved carpet fiber will fill a current market gap for the availability of clean, nylon fiber, suitable for pelletizing and use in Tier II manufacturing processes.
  • Carpet Solutions, Carson, Calif., awarded $24,000 (Cycle 1B) – This testing project will conduct sample testing of a 100% PCC nylon chair that is manufactured using California PCC nylon recycled output to diversify secondary use opportunities for recycled nylon feedstock. Chairs will undergo testing to qualify the new recycled product for marketing and sale in the U.S. 
  • CLEAR, Lake Villa, Ill., awarded $350,000 (Cycle 1A) – CLEAR is building a new facility in Lincoln, Calif., to manufacture products containing post-consumer carpet. The project will recycle carpet fiber into pellets for existing products such as shelves, toolboxes, pallets, and other products and use calcium carbonate for concrete forms. 
  • GHD, Santa Rosa, Calif., awarded $133,984 (Cycle 1B) – The purpose of this testing project, in partnership with Humboldt State University Environmental Resource Engineering (ERE) Department, is to help determine the feasibility of using PET carpet fiber for civil engineering applications such as lightweight fill, infiltration media, and erosion control. This project includes testing of Shredded Waste Carpet to define its beneficial properties as a construction material.
  • SafePath Products, Chico, Calif., awarded $462,000 (Cycle 1A) – SafePath Products will develop a new Tier II facility in Northern California that will use fiber and calcium carbonate as an additive in several existing products along with other engineering applications still being tested.
  • Sierra Rubber Company, Ripon, Calif., awarded $108,000 (Cycle 1A) – The purpose of this project is to purchase equipment necessary to expand new and existing product lines using recycled carpet components, and calcium carbonate in particular, blended with recycled rubber. Sierra Rubber Company will become a new California processor of PCC.
  • South Bend Modern Molding, Mishaka, Ind., awarded $50,000 (Cycle 1B) – This testing project will test various combinations of PCC components (primarily nylon, PET and CaCO3) with recycled rubber and plastics for various properties necessary for finished products, as well as perform tests on a large application sound barrier that utilizes PCC. 
  • XT Green, Irvine, Calif., awarded $250,000 (Cycle 1A) – Grant funds help support the construction of a new, advanced technology carpet recycling facility in Southern California. Operating under the name of EarthCare Carpet Recycling, the facility’s processing system was developed by XT Green to produce highest quality reclaimed nylon, polypropylene and calcium carbonate for use in manufacturing in California while also designed for record recycling rates, greenhouse gas reduction benefits and worker health protection standards. 
For information about the grant awards, please contact grants administrator Abbie Beane at (503) 320-4975 or abeane@carpetrecovery.org

 

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CARE to host public workshops in California

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 10.46.43 AMDalton—Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) will host public workshops in California on March 8 and 10 to solicit input and feedback from various stakeholders about the future of carpet recycling.

These informational and interactive workshops will provide participants with an overview of the past and current state of carpet recycling in California and the opportunity to contribute ideas, insights, and recommendations on CARE’s planning efforts around carpet stewardship in 2017 and beyond.

The March 8 event will take place in Burbank at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The March 10 event will be held in Sacramento at the Rural County Representatives of California office from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The free workshops are an opportunity to meet the CARE California team, the inaugural members of the California Council on Carpet Recycling, as well as network with other industry stakeholders.

Carpet manufacturers; retailers; installers; government agency representatives in sustainability, waste and procurement; haulers; NGOs; and processors of carpet in California are invited to attend and can RSVP at carpetrecovery.org/2016_workshops.

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CARE forms California council on carpet recovery

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.19.55 AMSacramento, Calif.–The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) has announced the formation of the California Council on Carpet Recycling (Carpet Council), an 18-member advisory group, selected to provide guidance to CARE on California’s carpet recycling efforts. According to CARE, the Council represents diverse stakeholders from across the state and carpet recycling industry, including carpet retailers and installers; collectors, haulers and processors of recycled carpet; manufacturers of products made from recycled carpet; as well as non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and local government agencies.

“Carpet recycling, both in California and nationally, is a challenging and complex endeavor that needs the input and feedback from all parties that have a stake in this emerging industry,” said Robert Peoples, CARE’s executive director. “CARE welcomes the talents, expertise and commitment to our goals that our Council members share and are very much looking forward to working with them.”

The principal tasks of the Carpet Council will be to ensure all aspects of the product chain are taken into account as CARE works to increase the amount of carpet diverted from landfill, improve waste prevention and reuse efforts, raise recycling rates and strengthen the economic viability of recycled carpet products, as required under the California Carpet Stewardship Plan (commonly referred to as AB 2398). In performing this work, the Carpet Council will maximize the collaboration with the existing infrastructure stakeholders, to make the California Carpet Stewardship Program as successful and effective as possible.

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California Carpet Stewardship assessment to increase on April 1

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.02.40 AMSacramento, Calif.–The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) and CalRecycle announced at a public meeting an updated assessment fee of 20 cents per square yard on all carpet sold or shipped in California, effective April 1, 2016.

The rate is an increase from the previous assessment of 10 cents per square yard, to be collected as a non-tax item at the point of sale, throughout the sale and distribution chain, to the final customer.

“The assessment increase is necessary to offset the negative impact recent market developments have had on carpet recovery efforts and carpet recycling infrastructure in California,” said Bob Peoples, CARE’s executive director. “These developments include the tremendous drop in crude oil prices in 2015, by over 60% since mid 2014. Since crude oil is the feedstock for virgin synthetic materials, lower oil prices have put the production of recycled post-consumer carpet fiber at a disadvantage compared to virgin materials.”

Funds raised by the assessment will be paid out to qualifying recyclers as increased subsidies to help them stay competitive. In addition to increased subsidies, CARE will use the assessment funds for a newly implemented grants program to encourage investment in carpet recycling facilities and accelerate the development and marketing of products made from recycled carpet fiber. “We are hopeful that with the increased assessment fee and additional program incentives, CARE can help reinvigorate carpet recycling in California in 2016 and beyond,” Peoples said.

Since July 1, 2011, all California carpet manufacturers and retailers have been required under carpet stewardship law AB 2398 to add an assessment fee onto all carpet sold in the state. The law is designed to increase landfill diversion and recycling of post-consumer carpet generated in California. CARE administers the California Carpet Stewardship Program, which is charged with meeting the requirements for carpet recycling set by AB 2398.

CARE has been conducting extensive in-person outreach to carpet retailers throughout the state to increase awareness of the California Carpet Stewardship Program and the role the assessment plays in promoting carpet recycling and recovery. Many have expressed support for the rate increase. Cambria Hance at The Floor Store in Dublin, Calif., said: “As a carpet retailer, I welcome the investment in carpet recycling and the marketing of recycled carpet fiber products. The new assessment adds less than $10 to the cost of carpeting for the average home. I think that’s reasonable.”

 

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Tandus Centiva named CARE’s 2014 Recycler of the Year

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.10.05 AMDalton—Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), the primary non-profit organization charged with advancing market-based solutions for carpet recycling and landfill diversion, has named Tandus Centiva its Recycler of the Year for 2014. The honor was awarded during the organization’s 13th annual conference held in New Orleans May 13 and 14.

Tandus Centiva employs ReStart, the industry’s first closed-loop recycling program, through its Dalton-based environmental center. ReStart is designed to reclaim and recycle post consumer flooring, installation waste, product samples and portfolios.

Tandus Centiva has reclaimed and recycled more than 284 million pounds of floor covering and waste to date.

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CARE takes next step in PET challenge

May 25/June 1, 2015; Volume 29/Number 4

By Nadia Ramlakhan

Bob Peoples

New Orleans—More than 135 attendees came together in New Orleans for the 13th Annual Carpet America Recovery Effort CARE Conference, held May 13 and 14 here. The numbers reported at this year’s event indicated members diverted 490 million pounds of post-consumer carpet (PCC) from U.S. landfills last year. While these numbers area preliminary, Bob Peoples, executive director, said the information is more accurate as compared to last year’s because of a change in the methodology used to make calculations.

The show itself was similar to previous years in terms, except for a few changes based on attendee feedback. “We followed a very similar format,” Sheri Gorman, vice president of marketing and A&D for RD Weis Companies in New York and member of the CARE board Gorman, explained. “Having the exhibitors in the same room where the presenters are is nice because you can step back and have a conversation. The exhibitors loved that [before] so we did it again.”

Eric Nelson, vice president of strategic alliances for Interface and CARE board member, added that because the conference is a two-day event, board members aimed to maximize content and strike a balance between relevant topics. Instead of featuring breakout sessions in which attendees would have to choose from a few concurrent presentations, speakers were allotted a shorter amount of time in the main room, allowing attendees to soak in important information from each meeting.

“The CARE Board really tries to take feedback each year and turn the conference into something beneficial for everyone,” Nelson said. “Rather than having to choose from A, B or C, we’re doing three or four presentations in one session. These are topics that everyone wants to hear, so we try to be deliberate and take all that into consideration.”

Also new this year is the 2015 CARE Member Product Catalogue, showcasing the various products that contain PCC, which officially launched the first day of the conference. “The key to solving our problems is going to be the products and outlets we put in place,” Peoples said, explaining that the next step after recycling carpet is finding a home for the fibers. The catalogue is designed to make members aware of their options and is available for download in a PDF format on the CARE website, carpetrecovery.org.

VecoplanCARE’s new website launched May 7 of last year at its event in Seattle, but it has been constantly undergoing changes and improvements in order to be more user-friendly.

On the marketing front, CARE recently formed a new marketing committee to help promote and raise awareness in the flooring industry. On the commercial side, mills are taking the initiative to encourage recycling within their companies, but according to Gorman there is a communication gap between them, the retailers and consumers. “There is a whole education process that needs to happen.”

Peoples added that because there hasn’t been much engagement with retailers in the past, the second half of 2015 will emphasize more dialogue and “focus on getting out materials, furthering outreach and building a direct contact database.”

PET update

In recent years the challenge involving polyester (PET) for the carpet industry has been developing a viable and profitable recycling mechanism. Now that progress has been made, the next step is finding aftermarket potential for thefiber. Confident that the answer is near after solving the nylon 6 issue (the technology to recycle nylon 6 back into nylon 6 face fiber didn’t exist when CARE first started), members are aware that risks must be taken, and there is a lot more work to be done.

“They’re still trying to find solutions,” Gorman said. “So there is still a lot of testing to figure out what can we use [PET] for, what it will work in, what it won’t work in. Compared to a year ago, we’ve found a lot of different outlets and some of them are more viable while some are still being tested.”

Wyatt ShawSince the economic downturn around 2008, the use of polyester has spiked and continues to see growth. “The industry really wanted to put products on the shelf at a different price point so that consumers might be more willing to purchase during that really tough time,” Nelson noted. “If you’re recycling old carpet and you have a choice to bring back polyester or nylon, by the time you harvest the polyester fiber and turn it into a pellet it’s going to cost you more to make it than the market is willing to pay; with nylon that’s not the case because the values are higher.”

Wyatt Rollins, director of materials recovery operations for Shaw, added, “PET is a very cheap polymer, but the cost structure to recycle it doesn’t change. So there’s no way to profitably recycle the polyester and that’s why PET is such a big issue.”

Ultimately, CARE members hope to one day be able to recycle PET back into its original carpet form. “What they’re shooting for is carpet to carpet,” said Dana Darley, national sales manager for the plastics division of Vecoplan, a company that manufactures and sells size-reducing equipment. “That’s always the goal, that’s always the highest value in recycling. Otherwise they can use it for much simpler applications like automotive, where it doesn’t need the same purity level.”

Despite the positive outlook, some members continue to face obstacles. “We’ve asked New Jersey to provide carpet to our facility in Newark for half the landfill price and they declined,” said Sean Ragiel, founder and president of CarpetCycle in Newark, N.J. “There’s not enough savings. So that’s the challenge; they want us to take it for free but as everyone in the room knows, show me where I can get free trucks, free fuel, free insurance and a free driver and I’ll take the carpet for free.”

Turning over rocks’

According to Peoples, part of CARE’s role is to “turn over rocks. We seek out possibilities, look for opportunities, look for new processes and technologies and look for new products into which we can put PCC. Then we connect them with our members.”

Presenters at the conference provided some possible solutions including experimental work that will determine PET’s compatibility with particleboard formulations, recovering and recycling carpets for automobile uses (currently being done in Hyundai and Kia vehicles), and the use of power plants to convert carbon-containing waste into gas for heating, cooling or electricity.

CARE also serves as a stewardship organization administering the California AB 2398, mandating that consumers pay a surcharge on carpet purchases that goes toward the recycling initiative. On April 1 the assessment was increased from 5 cents to 10 cents per square yard, allocating more funds for recycling, diversion and product development in California.

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Care releases 2013 annual report: 534 million pounds of carpet diverted from landfills

August 4/11, 2014; Volume 28/Number 4

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 11.07.03 AMDalton—Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), the primary non-profit organization charged with advancing market-based solutions for carpet recycling and landfill diversion, has reported a more than 52% increase in U.S. gross post-consumer carpet collections from 2012 to 2013. As revealed in the organization’s 2013 annual report, CARE partners have diverted 534 million pounds of carpet, or 14% of the 3.7 billion pounds of total discarded carpet, from landfills last year.

The environmental impact of the 2013 carpet diversion effort is calculated to be the equivalent of taking 40,822 cars off the road, or saving enough energy to power 17,692 homes for the year. Since its founding in 2002, CARE members have diverted more than 3.25 billion gross pounds of post-consumer carpet from landfills in the U.S.

“CARE has once again experienced a dynamic year in terms of challenges and accomplishments,” said Bob Peoples, executive director. “Our programs are growing more sophisticated, resulting in significant progress in accounting for the diversion of post-consumer carpet from landfills in 2013.”

One of the most significant developments was an 87% increase in post-consumer carpet going back to carpet face fiber now at 28% of recycled pounds. In addition, post-consumer carpet going into carpet backing represented another 17%, a 25% increase over 2012 data. These accomplishments come from significant investment in R&D and commercial implementation by CARE members.

In addition to carpet diversion figures, CARE also noted the following in its 2013 annual report:

•Nylon fiber types represented 52% of the collection stream, while PET collection grew to 34%.

•The amount of carpet reused saw a year-to-year increase from 5 million to

12 million pounds, while recycled carpet decreased slightly from 8% to 5%.

•CARE successfully managed California AB 2398 as the Carpet Stewardship Organization. The organization launched a blog in 2013 and a new website in May 2014.

“The challenge in front of us is to reach a viable business framework for CARE members to accomplish post-consumer carpet diversion and recovery in the face of challenges, most notably the rise of PET carpet in the collection stream,” said Brendan McSheehy, chairman of CARE’s board of directors. “I look forward to seeing the positive changes made as our organization navigates and adapts to the changing landscape of our industry.”

CARE’s 12th annual report is the result of surveys conducted by the organization and provides data on the various diversion management methods: reuse, recycling, cement kilns and waste-to-energy applications. The report also covers product and market development activities, and industry products and programs.

To view the complete CARE 2013 annual report, visit

carpetrecovery.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CARE-2013-Annual-Report.pdf

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CARE releases 2013 annual report

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 11.27.09 AMDalton — Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), the primary non-profit organization charged with advancing market-based solutions for carpet recycling and landfill diversion, has reported a more than 52% increase in U.S. gross post-consumer carpet collections from 2012 to 2013. As revealed in the organization’s 2013 Annual Report, CARE partners have diverted 534 million pounds of carpet, or 14% of the 3.7 billion pounds of total discarded carpet, from landfills last year.

The environmental impact of the 2013 carpet diversion effort is calculated to be the equivalent of taking 40,822 cars off the road, or saving enough energy to power 17,692 homes for the year. Since its founding in 2002, CARE members have diverted more than 3.25 billion gross pounds of post-consumer carpet from landfills in the U.S.

“CARE has once again experienced a dynamic year in terms of challenges and accomplishments,” said Bob Peoples, executive director of CARE. “Our programs are growing more sophisticated, resulting in significant progress in accounting for the diversion of post-consumer carpet from landfills in 2013.”

One of the most significant developments was an 87% increase in post-consumer carpet going back to carpet face fiber now at 28% of recycled pounds. In addition, post-consumer carpet going into carpet backing represented another 17%, a 25% increase over 2012 data. These are major accomplishments and come from significant investment in R&D and commercial implementation by CARE members.

In addition to carpet diversion figures, CARE also notes the following in its 2013 annual report:

  • Nylon fiber types represented 52% of the collection stream, while PET collection grew to 34%
  • The amount of carpet reused saw a year-to-year increase of from 5 million to 12 million pounds, while recycled carpet decreased slightly from 8% to 5%
  • CARE successfully managed California AB 2398 as the Carpet Stewardship Organization
  • The organization launched a blog in 2013 and a new website in May 2014

“The challenge in front of us is to reach a viable business framework for CARE members to accomplish post-consumer carpet diversion and recovery in the face of challenges, most notably the rise of PET carpet in the collection stream,” said Brendan McSheehy, chairman of CARE’s Board of Directors. “I look forward to seeing the positive changes made as our organization navigates and adapts to the changing landscape of our industry.”

CARE’s 12th annual report is the result of surveys conducted by the organization, and provides data on the various diversion management methods: reused, recycling, cement kilns and waste-to-energy applications. The report also covers product and market development activities and industry products and programs.

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Carpet America Recovery Effort: Upbeat mood despite PET challenge

May 12/19, 2014; Volume 27/Number 27

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 9.44.26 AMEven as the carpet recycling industry grapples with the rise in polyesters (PET) in face fibers, the good news is the rate of recycling has reached unprecedented numbers in the history of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE).

Bob Peoples, executive director of CARE, said he was “delightfully surprised” by the mood at the 12th annual conference, especially given the ongoing PET challenge facing the industry. “It was really upbeat.”

Other attendees talked about the “good energy” in Seattle at the gathering of carpet mills, processors, collectors, and government and non-government officials. Continue reading Carpet America Recovery Effort: Upbeat mood despite PET challenge

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CARE hands out Recycler, Person of Year awards

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 4.31.52 PMSeattle — Wellman Plastics Recycling was named Recycler of the Year by the Carpet America Recovery Effort at the organization’s annual meeting.

Wellman, based in Johnsonville, S.C., has 700 employees. The firm also won the award in 2004.

CARE also named Thomas Holland Person of the Year. Holland is president of commercial contractor and Starnet member Corporate Floors of Houston, and president of Texas Carpet and Construction Recycling, a wholly owned subsidiary of Corporate Floors.

In 2013 alone, TCR diverted more than 1.6 million square feet of carpet