Progress Made in Recycling Rates and Technological Advances;
Industry Faces Challenges in 2020 from COVID-19 and Economic Recession
Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) has released its 2019 Annual Report detailing the industry’s progress despite growing headwinds in 2020. In 2019 CARE administered a $35 million operational budget, comprising core operations to serve its members, along with the Voluntary Product Stewardship Program (VPS) and the California Carpet Stewardship Program. Progress in 2019 included:
VPS Program Highlights
- More than $2 million was paid in VPS subsidies in 2019.
- Total gross U.S. collections were 335 million pounds, up from 281 million pounds in 2018.
- 98% of the post-consumer carpet collected was processed in the United States.
California Carpet Stewardship Program Highlights
- 82.1 million pounds of post-consumer carpet was collected before it could go to landfill.
- 58 million pounds of recycled output was produced (up 18% from the 49.3 million pounds recycled in 2018).
- The overall 2019 California recycling rate was 19.1%, up 25% versus 2018.
Positive news in 2019 included new members joining the recycling effort, new technology introduced, and new products being developed and brought to market. Of particular note is the advance of chemical recycling and the volume of recycled material it could command once fully implemented. As CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples noted: “Progress was strong in 2019, and there was optimism for the first time in a long time for carpet recycling.”
The Report includes a brief update on events in 2020: “Unfortunately, the carpet industry was not immune to the recession, which resulted in plant closures and more than 10,000 jobs lost or furloughed. A difficult decision was made by the carpet industry leadership to terminate the VPS program effective June 30, 2020 to help offset lost revenues. This challenge is compounded by the potential for additional Covid-19 impacts as the economy moves to restart in the later part of Q2. Of equal concern is the loss of carpet recyclers and associated infrastructure during this recession.”
See the CARE 2019 Annual Report here.
About Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE)
Carpet America Recovery Effort (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.
Since 2002, CARE members have diverted more than 5.6 billion pounds of carpet from landfills in the United States and promoted the use and development of products containing materials derived from carpet. CARE members include independent carpet recyclers, carpet manufacturers, dealers, retailers and suppliers and non-governmental organizations. For more information about CARE, visit www.CarpetRecovery.org