2019 was a significant year for the CARE California Carpet Stewardship Grants Program, which is designed to help boost the state’s carpet recycling rate, provide additional infrastructure for the carpet recycling industry and support the creation of new products that will grow demand for carpet recycling for years to come.
The Program awarded 14 capital grants to 10 companies for recycling, manufacturing/finished product capacity and collection expansion; six testing grants to six companies for recycled product testing; and 12 micro grants to 12 post-consumer carpet (PCC) collection sites across California between 2018 and 2019 to help facilitate collection site efficiencies and convenient collection. These Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 awards totaled more than $6 million, with more than 90 percent of funds distributed to California-based companies. Four new processors or manufacturers using California PCC (post-consumer carpet) and five new California PCC collectors came online through the grants program.
The 2018-19 capital grants program resulted in nearly 20 million new pounds of California-sourced PCC recycled output in 2019 as well as more than 2.5 million new pounds of California-sourced PCC used in finished products in 2019. Three new products made with California PCC resulted from the capital grants program as well as one new significant market opportunity. This new market uses PCC in Eastman’s carbon renewal technology to make new materials through chemical recycling. The new products include Green Hive Group’s AbsorbsWell spill absorbent and SaN Pallets’ end caps and pallets. The Cycle 2 product testing program also explored eight new products made with California PCC. After successful trials, Swisstrax flooring tiles and 3B Protection ballistic barriers are now listed in the CARE Recycled Carpet-Derived Product Catalog.
It is essential to keep carpet clean and dry in order for it to be recycled, and CARE’s micro grants help retailers and collection sites do just that. The Cycle 2 micro grants program resulted in seven additional weather-protected structures at CARE drop-off sites across California and 10 new covered containers to be used for convenient PCC collection at California carpet retailers. The projects resulted in approximately 1.1 million new pounds collected in 2019.
CARE anticipates launching new cycles of its capital, testing and micro grants programs in March 2020. CARE also anticipates announcing a new pilot program designed specifically to increase California PCC collection in the spring.
For questions about the CARE grants program, please email Abbie Beane, CARE grants administrator, at ABeane@CarpetRecovery.org