The Carpet America Recovery Effort™ (CARE) – a voluntary, joint industry and government group that
promotes carpet recycling and re-use – announced winners of the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA)/CARE Innovations in Recycling award, the CARE Recycler of the Year award and the CARE Person
of the Year award at its Seventh Annual Conference, held recently in Lansdowne, Va.
The EPA/CARE award – which recognizes innovative products containing post-consumer carpet
content or a process that diverts large amounts of post-consumer carpet from landfills – was given
to Dalton, Ga.-based Shaw Industries Group Inc.’s Evergreen Nylon Recycling Facility, and the Los
Angeles Fiber Co. and its president, Ronald Greitzer. Since Shaw acquired the Evergreen plant in
2007, the company has recycled more than 220 million pounds of post-consumer nylon 6 carpet and
more than 36 million pounds of post-consumer carpet filler, and has reduced fossil fuel usage
through the plant’s waste-to-energy processing. Los Angeles Fiber and Greitzer have recycled more
than 464 million pounds of post-consumer carpet since 2000, which is more than 40 percent of the
accumulated poundage of recycled carpet CARE has reported since it began collecting data in 2002.
CARE named Calhoun, Ga.-based Mohawk Industries Inc. Recycler of the Year, recognizing the
company for its GreenWorks Post-Consumer Recycling Center in Chatsworth, Ga., which converts
post-consumer carpet into engineered resins that can be used in a variety of products. In 2008, the
GreenWorks Center collected 15 million pounds of post-consumer carpet for processing into
thermoplastic nylons and other materials.
Brendan McSheehy, director of research and development for Universal Fiber Systems, was
named Person of the Year for his exemplary leadership on the CARE Board and for serving as chairman
on various CARE committees. McSheehy holds a patent for a method of cleaning and separating
post-consumer carpet face yarn, and he was instrumental in the development of Universal Fiber’s
ReFresh Fiber, which contains post-consumer content from recycled nylon 6,6 carpet.
In other group news, CARE has released figures from its 2008 annual report indicating a
decrease in the recycling and diversion of post-consumer carpet compared to 2007 levels. The report
revealed that in 2008, 243.4 million pounds of post-consumer carpet were recycled and 292.4 million
pounds were diverted from landfills – an 11.4-percent decrease in recycling and a 0.8-percent
decrease in diversion compared to 2007.
According to CARE Board Chairman Frank Hurd, the reduction was less than expected,
considering the current economic downturn and the negative business results reported by other
industries in 2008. On a positive note, new data collected for the first time in CARE’s 2008 member
survey revealed 1,100 industry employees are directly involved in carpet recycling, which
translates into an additional 2,200 indirect jobs created in local communities.
May 5, 2009