Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine


CARE-based carpet recycling jumps 52 per cent in 2013

Georgia-based Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) has reported a more than 52 per cent increase in US gross post-consumer carpet collections from 2012 to 2013.

The market-based solutions organization for carpet recycling and landfill diversion issued a 2013 Annual Report that states CARE partners diverted 534 million pounds of carpet, or 14 per cent of the 3.7 billion pounds of total discarded carpet, from US landfills in 2013.

“CARE has once again experienced a dynamic year in terms of challenges and accomplishments,” Bob Peoples, Executive Director of CARE, stated in a press release. “Our programs are growing more sophisticated, resulting in significant progress in accounting for the diversion of post-consumer carpet from landfills in 2013.”

The environmental impact of the 2013 carpet diversion effort is calculated to be the equivalent of taking 40,822 cars off the road, or saving enough energy to power 17,692 homes for the year. Since its founding in 2002, CARE members have diverted more than 3.25 billion gross pounds of post-consumer carpet from landfills in the US.

One of the most significant developments was an 87 per cent increase in post-consumer carpet going back to carpet face fiber now at 28 per cent of recycled pounds. In addition, post-consumer carpet going into carpet backing represented another 17 per cent, a 25 per cent increase over 2012 data. These are major accomplishments and come from significant investment in R&D and commercial implementation by CARE members.

In addition to carpet diversion figures, CARE also notes the following in its 2013 Annual Report:

  • Nylon fiber types represented 52 percent of the collection stream, while PET collection grew to 34 percent
  • The amount of carpet reused saw a year-to-year increase of from 5 to 12 million pounds, while recycled carpet decreased slightly from 8 to 5 percent
  • CARE successfully managed California AB 2398 as the Carpet Stewardship Organization
  • The organization launched a blog in 2013 and a new website in May 2014

“The challenge in front of us is to reach a viable business framework for CARE members to accomplish post-consumer carpet diversion and recovery in the face of challenges, most notably the rise of PET carpet in the collection stream,” stated Brendan McSheehy, Chairman of CARE’s Board of Directors. “I look forward to seeing the positive changes made as our organization navigates and adapts to the changing landscape of our industry.”

CARE’s 12th Annual Report is the result of surveys conducted by the organization, and provides data on the various diversion management methods: reused, recycling, , cement kilns and waste-to-energy applications. The report also covers product and market development activities and industry products and programs.

To view the complete CARE 2013 Annual Report, click here.