October 17, 2018 – California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) Director Scott Smithline yesterday conditionally approved the most recent Five-Year Plan submitted by Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE.) CARE has 60 days to submit a revised Plan that meets the stated conditions. Conditions to be completed by September 1, 2019 for Plan approval include:
- Conducting an independent, detailed economic analysis;
- Providing an additional level of transparency regarding CARE’s economic analysis, including goals consistent with the results of CARE’s convenient collection study;
- Establishing minimum weight of post-consumer carpet content that a product must contain; and
- Developing and implementing Agreed Upon Procedures for carpet reuse.
The Plan’s conditional approval means that CARE will continue as the carpet stewardship organization for California until further notice, and will work to meet the goals of legislation (AB 2398 and AB 1158) to reduce the amount of carpet going to landfill and to create a market for recycled carpet material. The approval also immediately releases grant funding for California-based recyclers. CalRecycle’s Request for Approval can be seen here.
“This is great news,” said CARE Executive Director Robert Peoples. “Plan approval means we can continue to support the carpet recycling industry in California in order to keep more carpet out of landfill, create jobs and promote more products made with recycled carpet. We look forward to continuing subsidies to carpet recyclers, providing convenient carpet collection sites across the state, and educating retailers, installers, local government and consumers on the process and benefits of recycling. We will continue to work closely with CalRecycle to ensure that their conditions are met and that we meet or exceed the 24% carpet recycling rate goal by January 1, 2020.
Like many textiles, carpet is made of petroleum-based material. Currently, more than 340 million pounds of used carpet are discarded in California landfills each year. Recovered carpet can be used to manufacture new carpet fiber, building and construction materials and products for the consumer and automotive industries, among other uses. The California Carpet Stewardship Program is funded by an assessment on all carpet sold in California. That assessment amount increases to $0.35 per square yard on January 1, 2019, up from the current $0.25 per square yard.
Signed into law on September 30, 2010, AB 2398 was the first product stewardship law in the country to specifically address carpet. CARE was named the California Carpet Stewardship Organization in 2011. CARE’s California program provides subsidies and grants to recyclers to support collection, equipment and product testing, along with extensive installer and retailer outreach and consumer and local government education efforts. After five years of work on the Program, CARE submitted a second Five-Year Plan to CalRecycle in October 2016, with revised versions in March and August of this year.
“Getting Plan approval, even conditional approval, was arduous, but we know that CalRecycle’s feedback and continued cooperation helped this Plan meet the needs of the state and for the industry,” noted Peoples. “We were further assisted by the California Carpet Stewardship Advisory Council and the new Advisory Committee — groups of stakeholders that provided invaluable guidance.”
Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the landfill diversion, reuse and recycling of post-consumer carpet through market-based solutions that benefit the economy as well as the environment. Since 2002, CARE has diverted more than 4.6 billion pounds of carpet from landfills in the United States, including over 500 million pounds from California landfills, promoted the use and development of products containing materials derived from carpet. CARE members include independent carpet recyclers, carpet manufacturers, dealers, retailers, suppliers and non-governmental organizations. Since 2011 the California Carpet Stewardship Program has been engaged with increasing carpet diversion and recycling and supporting new markets for recycled post-consumer carpet products in accordance with state law AB 2398. CARE has been the state’s designated Carpet Stewardship Organization since the law went into effect.
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