Thursday, May 8, 2014

CARE Names 2013 Person of the Year, Recycler of the Year

Our highly anticipated Person of the Year and Recycler of the Year have been chosen! Thomas Holland of Texas Carpet Recycling and Wellman Plastics Recycling have received these honors, respectively, during our 12th annual conference in Seattle.

Person of the Year

CARE's 2014 Person of the Year, Thomas Holland, is a CARE board member and founder of Texas Carpet and Construction Recycling (TCR).

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate Floors, TCR was established in 2007 as the first carpet recycling company in Texas. The organization now has a 32,000-square-foot facility where it regularly sorts, bales and grinds carpet from dozens of companies.

In 2013 alone, TCR diverted more than 1.6 million square-feet (equivalent to 803,856 pounds) of carpet from landfill. TCR also finds responsible end-of-life solutions for VCT, ceiling tiles and other post-construction materials.

In his role as a CARE Board member he has been a vocal advocate for the collector/sorter entrepreneur communicate, the backbone of carpet recycling industry. Thomas has worked tirelessly to find solutions to the challenges faced by the young industry. 

CARE's Executive Director stated, "Thomas has brought a voice of reason and a sense of stability during turbulent times."

Left to right: Brendan McSheehy (CARE Chairman of the Board), Thomas Holland, Bob Peoples (CARE Executive Director)

Recycler of the Year 
Wellman Plastics Recycling (WPR) is a CARE partner and one of North America's leading compounders and suppliers of engineering and thermoplastic resins.

WPR currently collects more than 100 million pounds of post-consumer carpet per year and processes the material into nylon, polyester and polypropylene resin products. The company is also actively developing recycling solutions for non-nylon carpet, a challenging post-consumer material.

In addition to its landfill diversion efforts, WPR has restarted and invested in several key recycling facilities, and now employs more than 700 workers.

Left to right: Joe Smith (Wellman Plastics Recycling), Brendan McSheehy, Glenn Odom (Wellman Plastics Recycling), Bob Peoples

"This year's winners aren't just good stewards of the environment, they accept historical challenges for carpet recycling and respond with tangible solutions for our industry," said Bob Peoples, executive director of CARE. "Our organization is making huge strides forward because of the influence of individuals and organizations like Thomas Holland and Wellman Plastics Recycling."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

RecycleAmp: The Next Generation of Creating Recycling Connections

Recycling carpet is a complex process, and one of the key challenges facing our industry is connecting buyers and sellers of used carpet materials. Recognizing this opportunity, RecycleAmp is a unique organization actively working to bring both sides together more efficiently.

We recently spoke with John Thier, founder of RecycleAmp, to learn more about the company and how they’re working to facilitate connections within the carpet recycling industry.

CARE: How did RecycleAmp get started? What is your mission?

John: The sales teams for recyclable waste at large industrial companies are always looking for an edge to help them find better outlets for more materials. My first project in recycling was building an auction platform for a carpet manufacturer's recyclable material. RecycleAmp grew from that project.  

RecycleAmp's mission is to give waste sales teams the technology tools that they need to connect with the right buyers in the most efficient way possible for both sides.

CARE: Tell us a little bit about the buying/selling process.

John: In its present state, buying and selling recyclable waste is often an incredibly frustrating and painful process. The RecycleAmp buying/selling process is different in a few key ways.  

First and foremost, it depends very much on the needs of each company's sales team. Typically, we'll set a new customer up with a dedicated RecycleAmp sales platform. When that company has material available to sell, the material is posted on their platform and shared with a database of their customers as well as RecycleAmp's database of 800+ purchasers. Interested buyers walk through an extremely simple bid and purchase process that saves everyone time and protects both buyers and sellers.  The idea is to efficiently get the material to the best buyer who wants the material the most.

CARE: What has led you to add carpet to your list of materials?

John: RecycleAmp's first customer was a large carpet manufacturer, so carpet has a special place in RecycleAmp's history. Compared to other recyclable materials, the volume and value of carpet waste makes it an appealing segment for RecycleAmp.  

CARE: Who are the buyers and sellers of recyclable carpet material? What services for carpet are available now through RecycleAmp, and what are the possibilities for this segment in the future?

John: There is a big difference between post-industrial (recyclable material from a large carpet manufacturer) and post-consumer (used carpet removed from the floor a home or business) sources.

Right now, RecycleAmp primarily works with carpet manufacturers to help sell industrial waste to a network of recyclers who buy the material, reduce it to pellets and then sell the pellets to compounders to create new products.

On the other hand, post-consumer carpet recycling is a new and exciting growth area for us. PCC is typically taken by collectors from landfills or jobsites, who will then process or send the material to a recycler to produce the pellets.

There is a lot of crossover between post-industrial and post-consumer carpet recycling, and RecycleAmp is currently working with CARE to create more options for PCC.

CARE: What is your ideal end goal for offering carpet recycling solutions?

John: Post-consumer carpet is an incredibly complex challenge with a lot of brilliant teams working on it, particularly CARE and CARE's members. Any technology that can help reduce transaction costs and connect sellers with buyers is going to help those efforts.  

I hope RecycleAmp can be part of that process more and more moving forward.  The ideal end goal is to make buying and selling carpet material incredibly simple and efficient.

CARE: Is there a call to action for our blog readers to learn more or contribute?

John: Anyone who is interested in carpet materials and waste should sign up for buyer emails here:

Also, I'd love for anyone who isn't familiar with RecycleAmp to find me at the CARE conference in May for a quick chat.  I'll be the tall nerdy looking guy with a laptop close by my side.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Register Now for the 2014 CARE Conference!

There is still time to register for the annual 2014 CARE Conference! Hosted in beautiful downtown Seattle, this is the first year CARE has brought the event to the Pacific Northwest.

The conference format has been revised in 2014 to create a much more engaging event, designed to deliver valuable information and networking time. Join us as we continue to build this exciting new industry in the United States!

Agenda, registration and hotel information located at:

Who should attend?
  • Local businesses interested in buying products made from recycled carpet
  • Businesses looking to use recycled content as a key raw material 
  • Plastic processors
  • Carpet manufacturers looking for recycle options and/or recycled raw materials
  • Local and state agencies looking to advance product stewardship
  • Collectors, sorters and processors of post-consumer carpet
  • Entrepreneurs engaged or looking to growth business opportunities
  • Machinery manufacturers
  • Equipment suppliers
  • Media looking for success stories of a new industry creating jobs in America
  • Students and faculty (case studies, materials, supply chain logistics)
We hope to see you in Seattle!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

GeoHay: Water Management Solutions from Post-consumer Carpet

When post-consumer carpet (PCC) can avoid landfill and moves onto the recycling process, there are a wide range of possibilities for its next destination. Up to 30 percent of recycled PCC is used to produce new carpet face fiber and backings. Additional opportunities for used carpet materials include the creation of building materials, automotive products and more.

In this Product Spotlight post, we’ll take a look at GeoHay, a line of water management products created from post-consumer carpet.

Water and sediment management from used carpet materials
GeoHay “bales” are created almost exclusively from used carpet materials. The carpet content helps filter and divert water and sediment surrounding a number of applications, including
  • Ditch checks
  • Dams
  • Industrial site
  • Construction areas
  • Inlets
  • Mines
  • Golf courses
  • and more! 

An example of a sediment control application featuring GeoHay

Along with erosion and sentiment control, GeoHay products are also designed to absorb heavy metals and hydrocarbons, and filter clean water back to the environment.

GeoHay controls industrial run-off and returns clean water to the environment

GeoHay: Sustainable by design
GeoHay is an environmentally responsible product throughout its complete lifecycle:
  1. First, GeoHay products help divert used carpet from landfill by incorporating PCC materials into their construction.
  2. During use, the bales manage contaminated run-off and storm water discharge to help improve the surrounding environment.
  3. Depending on water and soil conditions, GeoHay bales can also be reused between projects.
  4. Last, a responsible end-of-life solution is in place for all GeoHay products to avoid landfill.
Because of their completely sustainable design, GeoHay products exceed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s regulations for storm water discharge and sediment control, and also contribute to LEED points.

We encourage you to visit the CARE website to learn more about the wide range of products created from PCC. We’ll also continue to explore the many possibilities for recycled carpet content each month on the CARE blog!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Register Now! CARE 12th Annual Conference

Our Annual Conference is quickly approaching! Planning to join us in Seattle? Register before Friday, March 21 to take advantage of a 20% savings in registration price!

CARE Annual Conference 2014
May 6-8, 2014
Renaissance Seattle

Be inspired by top leaders in our industry!

Keynote speaker:
  • Dr. David Crowe, National Association of Home Builders
You'll also hear from:
  • Tom Metzner, Conn. Dept of Environmental Protection
  • Walter Willis, SWALCO (IL)
  • Kathy Frevert, CalRecycle

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Recycler Relationships: A ‘Win-Win’ for Sustainability and Savings

If you are a mill representative, specifier or carpet dealer, offering a carpet recycling service to customers can be a huge advantage to your business. Especially for green-conscious clients, the option to recycle rather than send their used product to landfill is ideal - and can even be profitable for you.

However, carpet is a complex product to recycle. As of now, there’s no one ideal way to recycle used residential or commercial carpet – but there are opportunities to find solutions in your market by working with a local recycler.

The first step is to find carpet recyclers in your area. The CARE website features a Certified Collector Finder, which can help you identify partners nearby.

From the search results, choose and contact a local recycler, and inquire about partnership opportunities. The recycler will share options for recycling carpet through their facility, which usually requires delivery of carpet to their location or they may arrange for used product to be picked-up from a jobsite.

Keep in mind, many recyclers are still wary of handling carpet because not all fiber types can be recycled. When non-recyclable carpet is accepted, but must be sent to landfill or wasted to energy, it comes at an expense to the recycler.

In the end, forming a relationship with a recycler should be a “win-win” scenario for both of you. For you, it’s often less expensive to recycle carpet for your customers than to send to landfill. For the recycler, your partnership offers steady access to materials. As with any business relationship, the key is to determine long-term, mutually beneficial options.

Developing a recycler partnership will certainly require an investment of time and coordinated efforts. However, the return will be a new, profitable option for your customers, and the chance to give new life to old carpet.

In the meantime, CARE continues to develop market-based options for carpet recycling. To learn more, visit to the CARE website at

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Interface leaps toward Mission Zero goal

Did you know Interface is not only the world’s largest carpet tile manufacturer, but also an environmental pioneer? The company began Mission Zero, its journey to become a fully sustainable manufacturer with zero negative impact, in 1996 – and has recently announced several exciting steps toward this goal.

Specifically at its European manufacturing facility in Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands, Interface is:
·         Operating with 100% renewable energy (both electricity and gas)
·         Using virtually no water in manufacturing
·         Achieving zero waste to landfill 

These accomplishments have helped Interface achieve a 95% water reduction and 90% carbon reduction across its European factories – and represent a significant leap toward its Mission Zero pledge.

But don’t mistake these recent milestones as Interface becoming complacent. The company is still on track to fully reach Mission Zero by 2020.

Read more about Interface’s recent sustainable efforts on the company’s website and by viewing the video below. Because of accomplishments like these, we’re proud to have Interface as a CARE sustaining partner!

A quick note to let you know our blog is growing and the company spotlight will become a regular feature along with tools and tips, products containing post-consumer carpet content, and people.  If you have ideas, drop us a line at!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Turning one million pounds of carpet into wood alternative

In just a little over 12 months on the market, NyloDeck® has reached an impressive milestone: one million pounds of carpet have been recycled into their superior composite decking material.

NyloDeck® is prepared from recycled nylon carpet fiber bonded by a VOC-free resin and contains no wood or PVC. The strength of the carpet fibers is key to making NyloDeck® one of the strongest and durable, yet lightweight, decking materials available. It also happens to be impermeable to moisture, which also makes it resistant to mold, mildew, stains, and swelling. Termites don’t like it either.

NyloDeck® is dyed all the way through the board and then embossed with a natural looking three-dimensional finish. This process allows it to be made in a variety of colors with unique grains similar to those found in natural wood. However, these boards won’t fade or splinter over time and are scratch-resistant.

In celebration of their achievement, NyloBoard (parent company of NyloDeck) invites Facebook users to take a guess at this question: If one giant red carpet was the only source for NyloDeck’s one million pounds of recycled carpet fiber used, what percentage of the Las Vegas strip would it cover? Guess correctly and you could win a prize!

Friday, January 24, 2014

EcoStrate: 100% post-consumer waste-based signs and flooring

While traffic signs are an everyday sight, the sign pictured above is unique in that it is produced from 100% post-consumer waste. Compared to the aluminum signs you’ll find roadside today, these signs from EcoStrate are less expensive, have a lower impact, and are less prone to theft by metal thieves.

EcoStrate uses patent-pending thermoforming to reform plastic waste into high-quality rigid panels. The process can use any size or type of carpet, including polyester, polypropylene, and the PVC backing, as well as plastic e-waste. The final product does not require blending with virgin materials, resulting in a 100% post-consumer waste product.

EcoStrate currently sources materials from R2 or e-Steward certified suppliers to avoid toxic or harmful contamination. EcoStrate hopes to eventually take back their product at the end of life to be recycled into fresh panels. Approximately one pound of waste can be reformed into one square foot of quarter-inch thick tile and no chemicals or water are added during manufacturing.

“We utilize about the same energy as a baler and create little or no emissions,” says Ron Sherga, founder of EcoStrate. “Since EcoStrate also avoids many of the steps that exist in current polymer recycling, we provide a materials solution that is 80% less in GHG emissions and water usage versus virgin materials. These findings are based on current EPA and DOE LCA models and data.”

Various patterns can be created through arranging the input plastics before thermoforming.

Mr. Sherga hopes that EcoStrate panels will ultimately find a wide variety of uses in addition to signage. EcoStrate is currently partnering with Texas Corporate Floors Inc to trial plastic floor tiles as an attractive alternative to vinyl and ceramic tiles. EcoStrate could be used to replace acrylic or polycarbonate materials in building materials, furniture, and more.

“Our vision is to use alternative energy, occupy distressed real estate, and empower persons with disabilities through employment and donations from sales.”

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tools for carpet removal and recycling

At CARE, we get a lot of questions about the best tools and procedures for carpet recycling from both consumers and professionals alike. We plan to feature some of our favorite tools and best advice over the coming months, so stay tuned.

The first step towards recycling carpet is pulling it up from the source. We prefer the Stand-Up Cutter and Carpet Peeler tools from Crain. These two tools allow for easy cutting, peeling, and removal of carpet while standing up. This ensures good ergonomics that will lead to fewer strain injuries and less back and knee pain.

The Jus-Push Cutter is used to slice glued-down carpet into easily removable strips. It features a sharp, hardened point that rides on the subfloor, pre-cutting the material and lifts the carpet into the blade. The heavy-duty handle is adjustable in length and double-locks for safety.

The Stand-Up Carpet Peeler is used grab hold of glued-down carpet and peel it away from the floor. A sharp pin is driven under the carpet with a kick. The shape of the tool acts as a lever for huge mechanical advantage to pull the carpet away from the floor.

While these tools make carpet removal easy, remember that debris-contaminated carpet will be more difficult to recycle and you should take steps to protect carpet during demolition. Cover the carpet with plastic to protect it from paint, drywall, plaster, and dirty boots. Carpet is never recyclable if it’s been exposed to asbestos. Avoid using tape to bind the rolls of carpet so that sticky residue isn’t left behind. Find your local CARE certified collector for more advice and local regulations and stay tuned for more recycling tips from CARE.

While CARE makes every effort to ensure accuracy, we make no recommendations or endorsements on products or procedures.  It is up to each user to make its own decisions on tools and techniques and CARE assumes no liability.