Al’s column

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by FCNews staff

JOLLY GOOD DEED: The U.S. is not the only country fighting a shortage of landfill space. In fact, the entire planet is searching for ways to reduce the amount of waste ending up in dumps in order to ease the burden on society’s bulging landfills. So with Earth Day 2013 upon us, here is a story from across the pond about one local company trying to do its part. The Lancashire Evening Post reported a program set up by not-for-profit Lancashire Carpet Reuse and Recycling to recycle old carpets from across the entire county. Graham Charnock, company director, told the publication the goal is to save “up to three tons of carpet from going to landfill each week.” That’s 6,000 pounds of carpet per week, or 312,000 pounds per year.


NO RUBBISH: The non-profit will collect used carpets from anywhere in Lancashire. This is no small deal considering the county has a population of nearly 1.5 million and covers an area just under 1,200 square miles—about four times the size of New York’s five boroughs. Charnock said, “The support from the local government and other agencies has been fantastic over the past few months, [and] we are currently on target to achieve [our goal].” But, he cautioned, because this is a non-profit, it requires the support of local companies and communities, as it needs the three tons of used carpet each week just for the business to break even. To learn more, visit


STAYING GREEN: The state of New Mexico, under the direction of former governor Bill Richardson, passed energy efficient building requirements in what was then promoted as among the most environmentally friendly in the country. In 2011, the state’s current governor Susana Martinez, a Republican, repealed the requirements implemented by the former Democratic governor, contending they were too expensive for developers and property owners. Earlier this month, a New Mexico court of appeals overturned the decision by the state Construction Industries Commission to revamp the green building codes, saying the commission failed to provide reasons for changing the construction standards and sent it back to the commission for reconsideration and a new vote.


STILL FIGHTING: The New Mexico Environmental Law Center said Martinez’ administration failed to follow the law in trying to undo regulations aimed at protecting consumers and the environment. According to, the Environmental Law Center is accusing the state of not obeying the court of appeals’ decision. In fact, the Environmental Law Center asked the court to hold the Construction Industries Commission in contempt for continuing to enforce revised building codes that the court had ordered set aside. The Construction Industries Division said in a statement it would continue to enforce the revised codes until the commission meets to decide whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court, saying the court of appeals ruling “did not discuss or reference the merits of the revised building codes.”


GREEN PRIMER: While we wait for the results from New Mexico, here’s one more reason to belong to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). The organization recently released the third edition of its Green Primer “Green Flooring – A Step-by-Step Comprehensive Guide for Members of the WFCA.” The purpose of the 189-page book is to provide an introduction to the current, relevant, environmentally friendly assessment programs, helping members better understand which of their products and practices may be characterized as green or sustainable. Armed with this information, WFCA members will be better able to capitalize on the demand for sustainable products and pursue contracts on environmentally friendly construction projects. To learn more, contact the organization at 800.624.6880.


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