Contact: Robert Peoples, Carpet America Recovery Effort (706) 428-2115
Pine Mountain, GA, May 3, 2006 – The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) Fourth Annual Conference was highlighted today with the release of the annual survey results showing 224.6 million pounds of post-consumer carpet was diverted from landfills in 2005.
The three-day annual conference brought together recyclers, prospective entrepreneurs, carpet industry, state and federal officials, and equipment manufacturers at Southern Pine Conference Center at Callaway Gardens — the nation’s first LEED-certified Conference and Convention Center — and generated lively discussion in an open forum between the stakeholders.
The release of CARE’s Fourth Annual Report included updates on progress the organization has made in its first four years of existence as well as the annual survey results for 2005 which showed an increase of 108 percent from the amount reported diverted in 2004.
“The year 2005 will be remembered as a very exciting year for the CARE organization if for no other reason than its bottom line. When we look back in the years ahead, I feel it will be significant that 2005 was the year we first starting seeing the fruits of our efforts,” said Robert Peoples, PhD, executive director of CARE, in announcing the survey results.
In 2005 reported recycling and diversion of post- consumer carpet doubled from 2004, bringing the total amount of carpet diverted from landfill to 483.7 million pounds since CARE started calculating the numbers in 2002. Of the total of 224.6 million pounds of post-consumer carpet reported to be diverted from landfill in 2005, 194.3 million pounds was reported being recycled. Compared to 2004, this represents a 97 percent increase in recycling.
“Aside from the known amount we have reported in 2005, we now see a path to demand in 2007 that adds an additional need for more than 400 million pounds of old carpet. I am forecasting another increase of greater than 100% for 2006 which would reinforce our belief that this new industry of carpet landfill diversion is well on its way and to meet our overall goals, ” added Peoples.
CARE was formed as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding for Carpet Stewardship (MOU), a national agreement signed by members of the carpet industry, representatives of government agencies at the federal, state and local levels, and non-governmental organizations. CARE’s mission is to foster market-based solutions for recovering value from discarded carpet to meet the recycling and reuse goals set forth in the MOU. CARE has been charged with the task of providing an annual report on the progress of the goals set forth in the MOU which includes an ultimate 40 percent diversion rate of carpet to landfills by the year 2012.
“The numbers we have available to us today along with the known entities we are aware of that will increase our reported numbers next year are a clear indication we are on the verge of expansive growth. Optimism abounds in the task ahead and we have more confidence than ever before that we will meet, and perhaps surpass, our 40 percent diversion goal over time,” said Frank Hurd, Chairman of the Board for CARE.
The Annual Report is a key component of the annual monitoring in place to show progress toward the goals in the MOU. The report also offers updates on market development opportunities, quantities of discarded carpet diverted from landfills, successes and obstacles encountered, and related state and federal efforts. The data was compiled via a confidential survey administered by Weston Solutions and the report can also be found in its entirety on the CARE website.
Overall CARE enjoyed its most productive year in 2005. By all measures 2005 saw improvements in every area starting with total diversion. Aside from the diversion rate reported, the annual report also featured some of the key accomplishments for the organization in 2005 including:
- StarNet partnership to implement a reclamation program for its members, which signals the start of a national collection system.
- Tricycle Inc. partnership which included CARE’s new website design.
- CARE continues to expand our annual sponsorship base in terms of new participants, including seven new sponsors in 2005.
- The increase of attendees at the annual conference.
- The increase in attendance at the fall entrepreneur meeting in which 50% of the entrepreneur participants at the November 2005 conference were new to CARE.
- CARE initiated a Procurement Project in 2005 focused on development of specifications for use by federal, state and local procurement agencies. The aim is to help direct public monies toward the use of products containing post-consumer carpet.
- The Carpet America Recovery Effort was selected as one of the “25 Environmental Champions for 2005″ in a survey conducted by Interiors & Sources magazine.
- CARE hired its second employee (part-time) to help manage CARE’s growth
In addition to the investment already noted, carpet mills continue to focus on both design of sustainable carpet products and also the incorporation of post- industrial, post-consumer, and bio-based components into their product systems. Much of this is driven by the desire to meet the dual objectives of end of life management and recycle content as embodied in the ANSI Draft Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard, NSF 140- 2005.