CARE Announces First Grant Winners
Contact: Robert Peoples, Carpet America Recovery Effort (706) 428-2115
SANDESTIN, Fla. (April 24, 2003) – In its continuing efforts to foster market-based solutions for the recycling and reuse of post-consumer carpet, the board of directors for the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) announced the organization’s first cycle of CARE grant recipients.
Three winners were chosen from a list of proposals submitted by companies and entrepreneurs and announced today at CARE’s First Annual Meeting. Together, the three winners, received grants totaling $92,000. The companies awarded grants were: TieTek Inc., Georgia Composite, and the Massachusetts Building Materials Resource Center.
“CARE continues to foster numerous entrepreneur relationships and through this program is able provide financial support to promising entrepreneurs. We have got to find markets and demand for products and technology to bring new products to the commercial sector if we are to meet our national goals of landfill diversion of discarded carpet,” said Frank Hurd, chairman of the board, CARE.
“We are very excited about the proposals we received and look forward to awarding more grants in the future. These three grant winners offer a myriad of possibilities and represent the kind of conceptual thinking that is necessary as we meet the challenge of turning discarded post-consumer carpet into a valuable feedstock. We are very excited about the future,” said Mr. Hurd.
TieTek Inc., a subsidiary of North American Technologies Group Inc. based in Houston, TX., was awarded the largest of the three grants at $40,000, and the money will be used to research the possibilities of using post consumer carpet as part of its composite railroad tie mixture.
TieTek has already produced more than 75,000 composite railroad ties. TieTek has ties in service on more than 20 railroads in the U.S. and internationally. Its patented technology utilizes recycled plastics, tires and other raw materials to produce composite parts that are an alternative to hardwood in structural applications. The TieTek™ railroad tie eliminates the need to harvest many hundreds of mature hardwood trees per mile of track installed while avoiding the requirement for toxic preservatives. Approximately 16 million wood ties are replaced in the U.S. each year, and the company recently signed a contract to deliver one million ties to Union Pacific Railroad.
“We are currently recycling about 50 million pounds of material per year. We use several different recycled materials in the composite tie. Currently about 10 percent of the mix is a fiberglass and we thinking carpet could take the place of that 10 percent in the very near future. And that’s just for starters. If all goes well we might be able to increase the percentage of post consumer carpet that we utilize in the composite tie,” said Stephen F. DiPietro, procurement manager for TieTek.
Georgia Composite, a company which makes parts for the automotive industry from recycled materials, was awarded a $32,000 grant. The company hopes to take their technology and apply it in several arenas, including the automobile, marine, aerospace, and construction material and office furniture markets using post consumer carpet. Georgia Composite has projected it could use as much as 75,000 tons annually of post consumer carpet within the next five years if it can deliver the product to market successfully.
The Building Materials Resource Center (BMRC) of Boston, Massachusetts, received the final grant and will use its $20,000 CARE grant to develop a used carpet donation system by collecting carpet from retailers, corporations and institutions. The remainder of the grant will be used to construct a display area to sell the reusable carpet. BMRC will provide a $7,000 match. BMRC estimates that its efforts under the grant will divert from disposal 150 tons per year of carpet and will become self-sustaining. As part of the grant, BMRC will provide guidance to other building material reuse centers throughout the United State that are interested in pursuing similar efforts. BMRC’s method of acquiring and selling used building materials is beneficial all around. Donors get a tax break, save on disposal fees, and even get free pick-up. End-users (income eligible homeowners and nonprofits) gain access to quality carpet to improve their homes affordability.