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June 2004

Massachusetts-based Carpet Recycler Granted $40,000

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) commissioner and legislators from North Reading announced that the board of directors for the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) has awarded a grant of $40,000 to a Massachusetts-based carpet recycler, Environmental Consolidation and Recovery Services (ECRS) of North Reading.

“ECRS is developing innovative and creative ways to use carpet that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills or sent for incineration,” DEP Commissioner Robert W. Golledge Jr. said. “Creating demand for discarded carpet is key to realizing the reuse and recycling goals of the National Carpet Product Stewardship Agreement that Massachusetts and 12 other states signed with the carpet industry in 2002.”

ERCS will use its grant to aid in the challenges currently facing the Massachusetts market in regard to collection and recycling of post-consumer carpet. Marketable products are being developed using post-consumer carpet, but the outlets are experiencing problems receiving a sufficient supply of post-consumer carpet.

“A big part of the problem assessed by the ERCS is that the end users – the dealers, retailers, architectural community, and demolition contractors – have a very limited understanding and knowledge of carpet recycling opportunities,” said Dr. Robert Peoples, executive director of CARE.

In order for ERCS to start a collection program for post-consumer carpet, an immediate emphasis must be applied to sales and marketing, and ERCS will use the grant funds to lease space and equipment, and help in the sales and marketing costs. ERCS estimates the grant will allow 20 million pounds of carpet to be processed in the first year.

CARE chose three winners nationally from a list of proposals submitted by companies and entrepreneurs and announced the awards on April 30 at CARE’s Second Annual Conference. CARE is the joint carpet industry-government organization established to achieve reuse and recycling goals of the national agreement.

Together, the three winners received grants totaling $103,250. The companies awarded grants were: ERCS; NY WasteMatch and CarpetCycle LLC in New York; and Blue Ridge Recycling in North Carolina.

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