The year 2020 presented unimaginable challenges for all of us, and CARE’s grant-funded carpet recyclers and collectors were no exception. Yet despite unprecedented headwinds, many grantees kept pace with 2019 metrics or made strides toward new objectives by year’s end.
In 2020 the Program awarded six capital grants and three testing grants to nine companies, and seven micro grants to seven California-based post-consumer carpet (PCC) public drop-off sites or flooring retailers source separating PCC for recycling. These three grant cycles awarded approximately $2.2 million in grant funding, and nearly 70 percent is designated for California-based companies. Four new PCC collectors came online as a result of the program, as well as two new rural counties that did not previously have a public PCC drop-off site. Since CARE’s grant program began, more than 80 percent of funding has been awarded to California companies. Capital projects are projecting at least 25 million additional post-consumer carpet pounds collected, processed or manufactured into new products in 2021.
Prior Grantees Keep Up the Pace and Reach Milestones
Grant-funded capital projects launched prior to 2020 resulted in over 30 million pounds of recycled output or PCC in finished secondary products. They also resulted in more than 15 million additional pounds of PCC collected for recycling. Most notably, Aquafil’s new PCC processing plant in Woodland, Calif., and the third in the state became operational, and Los Angeles Fiber Co. in Vernon, Calif., took the final steps in starting up its dust plant, which significantly increases PCC processing yield. Two California recyclers also began accepting commercial broadloom carpet for processing. Cycle 3 testing grantees awarded in 2020 are exploring four new applications or products for PCC use. Cycle 2 testing grantees Visions Environmental and Green Hive Group, both located in Northern California, made progress toward opening markets for their new products. Visions will now be selling its decorative landscape products, containing carpet backing material known as PC4, in more than 400 Walmart stores.
Micro Grants Expand Collection
The Cycle 3 micro grants program (Cycle 3M) launched a new concept in 2020: small, easy-to-maneuver trailers for flooring contractors source separating PCC at job sites for recycling. In all, three Sacramento-based flooring retailers were awarded this type of equipment. Cycle 3M also awarded five containers for PCC collection and recycling at three new retailer accounts and in two counties that previously did not have carpet recycling programs. Cycle 1 and 2 micro grantees also collected over 8 million pounds of California-sourced PCC as a result of their grant funding. Cycle 3 micro grants are expected to result in at least 2 million additional pounds collected in 2021.
New Cycles Planned
CARE anticipates launching Cycle 5 of its capital grants program, and Cycle 4 of its testing grants program in April. CARE also opened Cycle 4 of its micro grant program this month, and interested entities may now apply through CARE’s new, easy-to-use online grant application form.
For questions about the CARE grants program, please email Abbie Beane, CARE grants administrator, at ABeane@CarpetRecovery.org.
For more information about current grant cycles and grant awardees, visit our Grants page.