Contact: Robert Peoples, Carpet America Recovery Effort (706) 428-2115
Pensacola, Florida, April 30, 2004 – The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) Second Annual Conference concluded today following two days of lively discussion in an open forum.
The release of CARE’s Second Annual Report was among many highlights of the event that included updates on the progress the organization has made in its first two years of existence.
“When I look at the list of accomplishments CARE can call its own during these first two years, I can honestly say we should all be proud of what this totally volunteer organization has accomplished during some very trying economic times,” said Robert Peoples, PhD, executive director of CARE.
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. (For more information on CARE, please visit www.carpetrecovery.org.)
“It has been said, ‘Success is perseverance for one more minute.’ CARE will persevere and we will accomplish our mission,” added Dr. Peoples. “I fully expect to see a steep rise in the availability of quality feedstock as well as innovative products using the feedstock as we move forward in our challenge to divert 40 percent of carpet being landfilled by the year 2012.”
A total of 93.7 million pounds of post-consumer carpet was reported to be diverted from landfill in 2003, with 86.6 million pounds being recycled. In comparison to the numbers from 2002, this represents an 87 percent increase in diversion and a 64 percent increase in recycling.
“We’re excited about the numbers we have reported, and the fact they are an increase from the previous year, but we still have not met the goals we have set for ourselves. We continue to experience a reluctance to report diversion and that is one of our challenges. We will work hard to step up our communications efforts and I feel confident we will increase our future growth,” said Frank Hurd, chairman of the board for CARE.
In addition to the release of the new report, highlights of the meeting included: the awarding of $103,250 in grants; honoring of the Recycler of the Year and CARE Person of the Year; and the announcement of a new signatory to the MOU.
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 at www.carpetrecovery.org.
Nylon Board Manufacturing (Medford, MN), makers of composite sheeting called Ny-Board and roofing shingles, which are made of recycled post-consumer carpet, was named Recycler of the Year. Matthew Ewadinger, manager for the North Carolina Recycling Business Assistance Center, was honored as CARE Person of the Year for his work within the organization. Mr. Ewadinger serves as a member of CARE’s Board of Directors and is cochair of the organization’s Business Development Subcommittee.
“Ours is an organization that relies on volunteers such as Matt Ewadinger and it’s a privilege to recognize him for his tireless effort. It is much appreciated by all of us in this new industry,” said Dr. Peoples.
When asked what this award means to him, Mr. Ewadinger responded, “This is something I believe in so I do my best to try and make a difference. And being recognized by your peers for doing what’s right just makes it all that more rewarding.”
The carpet industry has also been working closely with the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS), a non-profit group based in Washington, D.C. “MTS decided to sign the MOU because it is a natural extension of what MTS stands for in the marketplace,” said Mike Italiano, MTS CEO. “MTS is about bringing a credible, third party, consensus driven standard to the marketplace. The carpet industry has been a leader when it comes to sustainability and this association reinforces the mission of both organizations,” said Italiano.
Other highlights from the meeting were presentations by Werner Braun, President of The Carpet and Rug Institute, and Paul Hawken, noted journalist and environmentalist, who was the main speaker for the conference.