- Dr. David Crowe, National Association of Home Builders
You’ll also hear from:
- Tom Metzner, Conn. Dept of Environmental Protection
- Walter Willis, SWALCO (IL)
- Kathy Frevert, CalRecycle
You’ll also hear from:
If you are a mill representative, specifier or carpet dealer, offering a carpet recycling service to customers can be a huge advantage to your business. Especially for green-conscious clients, the option to recycle rather than send their used product to landfill is ideal – and can even be profitable for you.
However, carpet is a complex product to recycle. As of now, there’s no one ideal way to recycle used residential or commercial carpet – but there are opportunities to find solutions in your market by working with a local recycler.
The first step is to find carpet recyclers in your area. The CARE website features a Certified Collector Finder, which can help you identify partners nearby.
From the search results, choose and contact a local recycler, and inquire about partnership opportunities. The recycler will share options for recycling carpet through their facility, which usually requires delivery of carpet to their location or they may arrange for used product to be picked-up from a jobsite.
Keep in mind, many recyclers are still wary of handling carpet because not all fiber types can be recycled. When non-recyclable carpet is accepted, but must be sent to landfill or wasted to energy, it comes at an expense to the recycler.
In the end, forming a relationship with a recycler should be a “win-win” scenario for both of you. For you, it’s often less expensive to recycle carpet for your customers than to send to landfill. For the recycler, your partnership offers steady access to materials. As with any business relationship, the key is to determine long-term, mutually beneficial options.
Developing a recycler partnership will certainly require an investment of time and coordinated efforts. However, the return will be a new, profitable option for your customers, and the chance to give new life to old carpet.
In the meantime, CARE continues to develop market-based options for carpet recycling. To learn more, visit to the CARE website at www.carpetrecovery.org.
Did you know Interface is not only the world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer, but also an environmental pioneer? The company began Mission Zero, its journey to become a fully sustainable manufacturer with zero negative impact, in 1996 – and has recently announced several exciting steps toward this goal.
NyloDeck® is prepared from recycled nylon carpet fiber bonded by a VOC-free resin and contains no wood or PVC. The strength of the carpet fibers is key to making NyloDeck® one of the strongest and durable, yet lightweight, decking materials available. It also happens to be impermeable to moisture, which also makes it resistant to mold, mildew, stains, and swelling. Termites don’t like it either.
NyloDeck® is dyed all the way through the board and then embossed with a natural looking three-dimensional finish. This process allows it to be made in a variety of colors with unique grains similar to those found in natural wood. However, these boards won’t fade or splinter over time and are scratch-resistant.
While traffic signs are an everyday sight, the sign pictured above is unique in that it is produced from 100% post-consumer waste. Compared to the aluminum signs you’ll find roadside today, these signs from EcoStrate are less expensive, have a lower impact, and are less prone to theft by metal thieves.
EcoStrate uses patent-pending thermoforming to reform plastic waste into high-quality rigid panels. The process can use any size or type of carpet, including polyester, polypropylene, and the PVC backing, as well as plastic e-waste. The final product does not require blending with virgin materials, resulting in a 100% post-consumer waste product.
EcoStrate currently sources materials from R2 or e-Steward certified suppliers to avoid toxic or harmful contamination. EcoStrate hopes to eventually take back their product at the end of life to be recycled into fresh panels. Approximately one pound of waste can be reformed into one square foot of quarter-inch thick tile and no chemicals or water are added during manufacturing.
“We utilize about the same energy as a baler and create little or no emissions,” says Ron Sherga, founder of EcoStrate. “Since EcoStrate also avoids many of the steps that exist in current polymer recycling, we provide a materials solution that is 80% less in GHG emissions and water usage versus virgin materials. These findings are based on current EPA and DOE LCA models and data.”
|Various patterns can be created through arranging the input plastics before thermoforming.|
Mr. Sherga hopes that EcoStrate panels will ultimately find a wide variety of uses in addition to signage. EcoStrate is currently partnering with Texas Corporate Floors Inc to trial plastic floor tiles as an attractive alternative to vinyl and ceramic tiles. EcoStrate could be used to replace acrylic or polycarbonate materials in building materials, furniture, and more.
“Our vision is to use alternative energy, occupy distressed real estate, and empower persons with disabilities through employment and donations from sales.”