StarNet/CARE Reclamation Program & Pfizer Inc.

Contact: Robert Peoples, Carpet America Recovery Effort (706) 428-2115

Introduction: The StarNet/CARE Carpet Reclamation Program offers a compliant, cost-competitive and hassle-free solution to dealing with the complexities of a carpet reclamation project. By offering a one-stop reclamation service, StarNet Commercial Flooring Cooperative members can handle all the issues and details associated with the job. StarNet will reclaim any used carpet, from any mill, made from any material, installed at any date and anywhere in North America, which is in line with CARE’s (Carpet America Recovery Effort) mission to increase the amount of recycling and reuse of post-consumer carpet, ultimately to reduce the amount of waste carpet going into landfills. The program is also LEED compliant and may be used for LEED accreditation. All fiber types and backing systems are eligible, including carpet tile. StarNet will remove the old carpet professionally, arrange transportation to a dedicated reclamation center, provide assurance that the material did not go into a landfill, document the procedure and submit records for compliance. From the reclamation center, carpet may be used to produce new carpet, energy, automotive parts or building materials, to name a few reuse options. For complete details on the program, and how to get involved, please visit

The Challenge: In 2003 Pfizer Inc., which is headquartered in New York City, with campuses and production facilities around the nation and globe, embarked on a large scale office expansion, redevelopment and retrofit project. New office space was purchased and Pfizer developed a multi-year plan to move and update many of its Headquarters’ spaces. Pfizer’s mandate of corporate responsibility led the construction planners to look for ways to recycle the old carpet in the spaces that were undergoing construction. Pfizer saw the opportunity to keep large quantities of old carpet from being hauled to landfills. Pfizer looked at carpet recycling as the environmentally responsible thing to do. (Ceiling tiles and some electrical components were also recycled as part of this initiative.)

Mal Schuster, senior project engineer at the Pfizer New York World Headquarters, had discussions with some major carpet mills about the possibility of recycling material from construction areas. The mills would take the old carpet, but Pfizer was required to arrange for a demolition company to pick up the carpet, and for trucking of the carpet to the carpet mill reclamation site. This would call for Pfizer management to oversee and initiate details of the construction process that were time consuming and well out of their area of expertise. It would also add a significant coordination element and cost to the project.

The Ideal Solution: offer a carpet reclamation program that is cost neutral to landfill disposal, and save time and project cost by using the same professional flooring contractor that is furnishing and installing the new carpet to deal with proper, environmentally correct disposal of the used carpet.

Enter StarNet member Consolidated Carpet, one of the nation’s largest full service floor covering contractors, based in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in New York City, and Moonachie, New Jersey. Consolidated Carpet facilitated the reclamation process for Pfizer by coordinating the carpet removal process with the many contractors and demolition companies working on site. As a result, Pfizer did not have to dedicate personnel or resources to see that carpet removal was accomplished as scheduled and that the old carpet did not end up in a landfill. Consolidated Carpet partnered with StarNet Commercial Flooring Cooperative vendor CarpetCycle of Elizabeth, New Jersey to remove and transport carpet to recycling centers. On other projects, carpet was collected at Consolidated Carpet’s own warehouse and reclaimed from there.

As a result, StarNet members, like Consolidated Carpet, are able to offer professional solutions by managing the entire process – from removal to compliance to certification:

  • Supplying a comprehensive quote
  • Having trained and experienced staff remove old flooring quickly and professionally
  • Arranging transportation to a dedicated reclamation center
  • Providing proof that the material did not go to the landfill
  • Documenting the procedure and submit records for compliance

Consolidated Carpet continues to spearhead carpet recycling on Pfizer projects. They create schedules to get the carpet off of the floor before other construction begins, saving time in the remainder of the demolition process, and eliminating carpet landfill waste from these projects.

Pfizer Results: In the years 2003-2005 Pfizer diverted 84,000 square yards of carpet from landfills.

Environmental Impact of Reclamation vs. Landfill

Quantity diverted from landfill 756,000 square feet
Equivalent number of pounds reclaimed 381,600 pounds
Cubic yards of landfill saved 1,884 cubic yards
Average equivalent BTUs saved 3,816,000,000 BTUs
Number of average US homes that could be supplied for 1 year 21 homes
Global warming potential averted (CO2 equivalent pounds) 2,668,147 pounds
Gallons of water saved 1,163,880 gallons

Note: This information is based on some internal life cycle analysis along with some assumptions developed through experience handling used carpet. Some assumptions are:

  • An average pile of mixed used commercial carpet weighs about .5 pounds pers quare foot of carpet. Carpet tiles weigh about 1 pound per square foot.
  • About one half the weight of used carpet is plastics versus backing, adhesives and dirt.
  • The average US home uses about 179,893,777 BTUs per year.

StarNet and CARE recognized Pfizer Corporation with a StarNet/CARE Reclamation Certificate for their efforts to keep carpet out of landfills. Under the leadership of senior project engineer Mal Schuster, Pfizer’s headquarters in New York City is working with Consolidated Carpet’s Paul Meberg to continue to divert old carpet from the landfill as facility rehabs have taken place. The award was presented by Lori Dowling, StarNet CEO and Dr. Bob Peoples, Executive Director of CARE.