JUNE 2009

Carpet recyclers granted awards

The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) honored four innovators from the growing world of post-consumer carpet recycling at the organization’s seventh Annual Conference held in Lansdowne, Virginia.

The recycling group announced winners of the EPA/CARE Innovations in Recycling award and the CARE Recycler of the Year and Person of the Year awards.

Established two years ago, the EPA/CARE award recognizes innovation in a product containing post-consumer carpet content, or a process that diverts substantial amounts of post-consumer carpet from landfills. This year the award is shared by Shaw Industries’ Evergreen Nylon Recycling facility and Los Angeles Fiber Company and its president Ronald Greitzer.

From the time Shaw began operating 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. In addition, significant fossil fuel usage was avoided through the plant’s waste-to-energy processing.

Ron Greitzer has over a decade of involvement in carpet recycling. Since 2000, his Los Angeles Fiber Company has recycled more than 464 million pounds of post-consumer carpet, amounting to more than 40 percent of the accumulated poundage of recycled carpet reported by CARE since it began collecting data in 2002. Without Greitzer’s efforts, CARE would not have reached their 2007 milestone of one billion pounds of post-consumer carpet recovered. Greitzer’s Reliance Carpet Cushion products are made entirely of post-consumer carpet fiber, and represent a major potential market for post-consumer fiber.

As the organization’s Recycler of the Year, CARE recognized Mohawk Industries for its GreenWorks Post- Consumer Recycling Center, which converts post- consumer carpet into engineered resins that can be used in a broad range of valuable post-consumer products. Mohawk describes its GreenWorks system as a “total recycling solution in which NO carpet component is either discarded to landfills or is sent to waste incineration.” In 2008, the GreenWorks Center, located in Chatsworth, Georgia, collected 15 million pounds of post- consumer carpet for processing into thermoplastic nylons and other materials. Most engineered resin sales were with Nylon 6,6, but Mohawk also developed automotive, furniture, and housewares applications, among others.

For his leadership on the CARE Board, serving as chairman of various CARE committees, Brendan McSheehy, Jr., was named CARE Person of the Year. As director of research and development for Universal Fiber Systems, McSheehy has been actively involved in carpet fiber research and recycling since 1993. A patent-holder for a method of cleaning and separating post-consumer carpet face yarn, McSheehy was instrumental in the development of his company’s ReFresh Fiber, which contains post-consumer content from recycled nylon Type 6,6 carpet.