Press Release

Recycled Carpet Helping Preserve the Beauty of National Parks – Park Service Installs Innovative Erosion Control Product Made From Old Carpet

Contact: Jeremy Stroop, Carpet America Recovery Effort (706) 428-2127

Great Smokey Mountains National Park (September 3, 2010) – In a move that will help the environment both within and beyond park boundaries, the U.S National Park Service has approved the use of a unique erosion control product made from discarded carpet for the contractor who performed a roadway construction project in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Installed along a six mile section of the Foothills Parkway in Cocke County, Tennessee that is undergoing pavement improvements, GeoHay acts as an inlet filter to prevent erosion pollution as a result of the project. Proper erosion control prevents unwanted sediments from entering the park’s streams and rivers, while preserving valuable topsoil, vital to healthy vegetation growth, from being washed away.

Created from a product that was previously headed to the landfill, GeoHay looks much like a traditional hay bale. GeoHay works by allowing water to flow through its fibrous structure while trapping suspended sediments such as topsoil and construction debris. GeoHay is substituted for the staked hay bales and silt fences traditionally used to meet the permit requirements for temporary erosion control at construction sites, but, unlike hay bales, GeoHay’s man-made material construction minimizes the threat of non-native plant species being introduced into pristine ecosystems. GeoHay is reusable and does not fall apart or decompose, so it can be repeatedly moved to new construction sites and erosion hotspots.

The Park is committed to using sustainable approaches and earth-friendly products whenever possible,” said Alan Sumeriski, Facility Manager at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “We are pleased that the contractor, Charles Blalock and Sons, Inc., sought out and procured this material to use on the Foothills Parkway project.”

According to CARE Executive Director Georgina Sikorski, GeoHay serves the environment in two ways – first, by protecting the park’s watershed and preserving precious topsoil, and second, by diverting thousands of pounds of waste that would otherwise go into the landfill. And, since GeoHay is made of 100% recycled synthetic fibers, it eliminates the petroleum that would be used for a similar product made from virgin materials.

“Whether it’s being used in the Smokey Mountains to prevent soil erosion or protecting Florida’s beaches from the recent oil spill, GeoHay works to protect local environments, while at the same time safeguarding the world’s resources. It is a multi-dimensional environmental solution that exemplifies the inventive spirit of the carpet recycling movement,” Sikorski said.