Dalton — Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), the primary non-profit organization charged with advancing market-based solutions for carpet recycling and landfill diversion, has reported a more than 52% increase in U.S. gross post-consumer carpet collections from 2012 to 2013. As revealed in the organization’s 2013 Annual Report, CARE partners have diverted 534 million pounds of carpet, or 14% of the 3.7 billion pounds of total discarded carpet, from landfills last year.
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 U.S.
“CARE has once again experienced a dynamic year in terms of challenges and accomplishments,” said Bob Peoples, executive director of CARE. “Our programs are growing more sophisticated, resulting in significant progress in accounting for the diversion of post-consumer carpet from landfills in 2013.”
One of the most significant developments was an 87% increase in post-consumer carpet going back to carpet face fiber now at 28% of recycled pounds. In addition, post-consumer carpet going into carpet backing represented another 17%, a 25% 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% of the collection stream, while PET collection grew to 34%
- The amount of carpet reused saw a year-to-year increase of from 5 million to 12 million pounds, while recycled carpet decreased slightly from 8% to 5%
- 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,” said 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.