Contact: Robert Peoples, Carpet America Recovery Effort (706) 428-2115
Pine Mountain , GA – May 9, 2005 – The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) Third Annual Conference got underway today as recyclers, prospective entrepreneurs, carpet industry, state and federal officials, and equipment manufacturers gathered at Southern Pine Conference Center at Callaway Gardens, the nation’s first LEED-certified Conference and Convention Center. The event is scheduled to run through Thursday with meetings and lively discussion in an open forum.
The release of CARE’s Third Annual Report kicked off the conference today and will be the center of much of the discussion during the three-day event. The CARE Annual Report included updates on progress the organization has made in its first three years of existence as well as the annual survey results for 2004.
“It is obvious the CARE organization continues to evolve as we learn more and more about this challenging process of recovering carpet and keeping it from burdening landfills. I am encouraged by our latest numbers, and while I recognize the tough challenge ahead, I feel very confident we will meet our ultimate goals,” said Robert Peoples, PhD, executive director of CARE.
CARE was formed as a result of the Memorandu m 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.
“The past year we spent a considerable amount of effort doing a lot of foundation and analysis work, and we are pleased with our progress in that arena – there are many opportunities available for use of old carpet. We recognize our numbers are short of the ambitious goals we have set for ourselves, but we nonetheless, feel confident we are making solid progress. It has been said, ‘success is perseverance for one more minute.’ CARE will persevere,” added Dr. Peoples.
A total of 108.2 million pounds of post-consumer carpet was reported to be diverted from landfill in 2004, with 98.4 million pounds being recycled. Those numbers are up from the ones reported in 2003, although at a slower pace than the increase from 2002 to 2003. Compared to 2003, this represents a 15.5 increase in diversion and a 13.6 percent increase in recycling.
“We’re excited about the numbers we have reported. In a three-year span, we have seen almost 260 million pounds of carpet diverted from landfills with 231 millions pounds of that being recycled. Those are exciting numbers even if they do fall below some of our expectations,” said Frank Hurd, chairman of the board for CARE. “The good news in all of this is the fact we may have under reporting by as much as 60 percent. We will continue to work on perfecting the reporting process, just as we will continue to work innovative solutions and taking products to market. I am confident we will increase our future growth.”
When compared with 2002, recycling has increased 130 percent and landfill diversion is up 89 percent. 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.
About The Carpet America Recovery Effort
Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) is a joint industry-government effort to increase the amount of recycling and reuse of post-consumer carpet and reduce the amount of waste carpet going to landfills. CARE was established as a result of a 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.