In This Issue:
- CARE 3rd Annual Conference
- Ashman Named CARE Person of the Year
- Vortex Composites Makes Offer
- 2004 CARE Annual Report
- Surveys Still Needed
- Did You Know…?
- Letters …
Dear CARE Stakeholder!
Welcome to the Spring Edition of our Quarterly CARE Newsletter. If you have missed either of our first two editions you can still find them on the CARE website.
We recently completed our 3rd Annual CARE Conference (May 10-12) at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga. It brought together a variety of stakeholders in this new industry and from the feedback we have gotten thus far, it was a meaningful and well-received event. This edition of the Newsletter will be dedicated to recapping the event for those of you who couldn’t make it. We missed you and hope you will consider putting it on your calender next year.
Thanks for your interest always!
Robert Peoples, Executive Director, Carpet America Recovery Effort
This year’s conference was a big success if attendance growth and feedback is any indicator. We had 82 registered attendees and more than 30 presentations. Visit the CARE website to view the conference materials: presentations, attendee list, the 2004 CARE Annual Report, etc. The tone of past conferences has been one of, this is a good idea, and how do we go about doing it. This year’s conference was dramatically different. First, the nature of the audience has changed to more of a business focus. Next we heard more about products moving into the marketplace. We know we have big drivers in terms of the cost of crude oil, movement of key plastic materials to India and Asia and recognition that carpet is a viable feedstock. We were also pleased to have cross-industry learnings shared by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) recycle battery institute, the HOBI International Group which heads up Cingular’s Retail Collection Program and StarNet.
The biggest complaint we heard at the conference was that there was so much information being shared and packed into full days that participants did not have time to enjoy all the amenities available at Callaway Gardens. We’ll fix that for next year.
The CARE Recycler of the Year Award went to Wellman Inc., an international Fortune 1000 corporation based in Fort Mill, SC. Wellman manufactures fibers, plastic packaging and engineering resins, and is one of the world’s largest recyclers of plastics. By recovering reusable nylon polymer for use in automotive parts, they are helping build the infrastructure necessary to achieve CARE’s objectives. Wellman is already considered the world’s largest recycler of PET bottles, reclaiming almost 3 billion bottles annually around the globe with facilities in the US, Ireland, The Netherlands and France.
“We are truly excited by this exceptional recognition. We started this process back in 1996 and since then we have shipped over one hundred and fifty million pounds of Wellamid EcoLon resin containing 25% post consumer carpet,” said Phil Ammons, Director of Raw Material for the Recycling Division. Ammons added: “We have to thank Ford, Visteon, Bosch and Toledo Molding and Die for their commitment to incorporate post consumer materials as a market driver of sustainable design. Without their commitment these accomplishments would not be possible.”
Wellman’s primary manufacturing partner is Georgia Carpet Processing, owned and operated by Amir Sahebdivani in Atlanta, Georgia. Amir secures the post consumer carpet flow and does the preliminary processing for Wellman.
As luck would have it, Andy Acho, Worldwide Director of Environmental Outreach & Strategy for Ford Motor Company, was the keynote luncheon speaker on Tuesday, May 10th. Since Ford played such a key role in the Wellman success for recycle of used carpet, Andy participated in the award ceremony.
The CARE Person of the Year Award went to northeast recycler Paul Ashman. Paul is President of Environmental Recovery and Consolidation Services LLC (ERCS) located in a suburb of Boston, MA and a founding member of the CARE organization.
Paul is simply an amazing businessman who has a vision and refuses to let anything get in the way of that vision. In 1992, his company was handling a large demolition project when he unexpectedly found himself in possession of 5,000 yards of old carpet. It was then that he realized there had to be an alternative to just throwing it away. He’s been busy ever since trying to find useful ways to reuse carpet. Paul has been working on his national collection model for the past 4 years.
“I’m honored and totally surprised by this award,” Ashman said. “What we do is not always about numbers and pounds recycled; it’s about a commitment to do the right thing. I’m excited about what the future holds not only for my company, but especially for the myriad of possibilities that are out there for the reuse of post-consumer carpet. We’ve done a lot through CARE in the past three years, and I expect that we will see the fruit of those labors in the very near future.”
A unique opportunity was presented to CARE during the conference. Vortex Composites has developed a new pallet system and Smart-Tie Wall System containing post consumer carpet. The Wall System can be utilized for property dividing walls, retaining walls, playground outlines, raised garden planters, patio outline foundations and highway sound walls.
Mike Hill of Vortex offered to provide 10% funding to CARE from the purchase of pallets or sound barriers to help get this product moving. We know one of the carpet mills has already contacted Vortex to discuss the possibility for use of their pallet system.
This is the creative thinking we need to move our agenda forward. If you use pallets please consider contacting Vortex and tell them CARE sent you. If you are in state procurement, please consider the Vortex sound barrier system for your highway needs.
The dinner on Tuesday evening was followed by a surprise appearance of Dr. Pete Ludovice – believe it or not – a Georgia Tech Ph.D. chemical engineering professor, who applied his technical touch to a bit of humor. He performs, rather fittingly, by the stage name Dr. Ludicrous. A relaxing evening was enjoyed by all.
A special thank you to our conference sponsors who made this great conference possible:
Sustainability Leadership Sponsors
Champion Polymer Recycling & The Mohawk Group
J&J/Invision, Milliken, Republic Machines, Siemens
C&A Floorcoverings, Shaw S|C, Mannington, Scotchgaurd, ASME, Ultron, ShutteBuffalo, GranuTech/Saturn Systems, Building Design & Construction, Environmental Design+Construction, CRI and CARE
Mark your calendars for the 4th Annual CARE Conference to be held again at Callaway Gardens the second week of May 2006. Details will be posted on the web when available.
The 2004 CARE Annual Report was released at the conference. The report documents an increase of 15.5% in total diversion of old carpet. A total of 108.2 million pounds of post consumer carpet was reported diverted in 2004 vs. 93.7 million pounds in 2003. Of the 108.2 million pounds diverted, 98.4% was recycled. Response rate to the survey was again low this year at 7%. We now have good evidence that the survey is undercounting by an estimated 30-60%. During the CARE conference two companies acknowledge they did not receive a copy of the survey and their combined diversion was 12 million pounds. That’s an immediate 11% increase not included in the report. We will again modify the survey process for 2005 in an effort to link with the growing base of recyclers in the United States.
If you attended the conference and did not have a chance to fill out the conference survey we would like to request your help. Please visit the CARE web site and download the survey, fill it out and fax it back (706-428-3116).
We need your feedback if we are to improve the conference and respond to your needs. Thanks!
Ford Motor Company uses 27 million square feet of nylon carpet each year in the manufacture of molded air cleaner housings for under hood applications. If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction. How much carpet will be used in China in the next decade? Here’s a question to ponder: What is the average number of square yards of carpet you can get into a 30 yard container? Send your response by email to Bob Peoples. Do you have an interesting story or factoid about recycling carpet? Send it to CARE by email and if we use it we will send you a CARE mug to proudly display.
Helen Cosner of MD writes,
” I just wanted to say thank you for the assistance on finding a carpet recycler. I followed up on the contact and we have since had a trailer picked up of carpet (cost 700.00 – 48′ trailer). At the beginning of August we will have probably another two trailers worth of carpet picked up. Thanks again, I think this will work out great! Take care . . . .
We would like your feedback on this newsletter, ideas, concerns, or questions. We’ll include them in future newsletters.