December 2020
CARE COVID Action Plan Extends Industry Support into 2021
CARE’s COVID-19 Action Plan, designed to help California carpet recyclers through the difficult pandemic period, has been extended through March 31, 2021. The plan updates include:
  • The early subsidy payment options currently set to expire will be continued through March 2021
  • The additional 2 cents/pound temporary subsidy for collections will be continued through March 2021.
  • The enhanced temporary Tier 1 and Tier 2 subsidies enacted in March 2020 will be continued through March 2021.
CARE continues to evaluate the pandemic impacts and review the COVID Action Plan on an on-going basis.

Dramatic Difference
The COVID-19 impact on both sales of new flooring as well as the carpet recycling community has been significant. According to direct feedback from a stakeholder, CARE’s COVID Action Plan “made a dramatic difference for all of us in the carpet recycling community. The industry stood on the precipice of imploding. The immediate and measured proactive initiatives undertaken by CARE…were not mere handouts, but tactical financial assistance measures that served to ensure market stability."

CARE enacted the original measures in March to support recycling businesses and to ensure continued success of the California Carpet Stewardship Program. The Action Plan has been a factor in the positive momentum seen in Q3 2020 (see next article.) 
Q3 Results Show Industry’s Resilience
Despite the economic and operational disruptions caused by the pandemic, California’s carpet recycling rate rebounded to 20.5% in Q3 2020, up from 19.8% in the second quarter, according to CARE’s latest quarterly update for the California Carpet Stewardship Program. Residential carpet sales were up versus Q2, while commercial carpet sales lagged as employees worked from home and major projects were postponed.

The Program in Q3 saw:
  • 21.8 Million pounds of carpet collected (+31% vs. Q2)
  • 14.3 Million pounds of recycled output (+32% vs. Q2)
  • $5.27 Million in subsidy payouts 

Planet Recycling Acquired by Aquafil 
In an important advance for carpet recycling in California and beyond, Aquafil Group has acquired Planet Recycling. Planet Recycling diverts over 10,000 tons of post-consumer carpet and carpet pad from Phoenix Valley and San Diego County landfills each year. The company’s collection facilities will enhance the availability of used carpet material for the Aquafil carpet recycling facility in Phoenix and will also create a stable quantity of nylon waste to be supplied to its regeneration plant in Slovenia.

Giulio Bonazzi, Aquafil Group President and Chief Executive Officer, noted, “The integration of Planet Recycling is a big component of the company’s long-term strategy and will ultimately increase the use of recycled carpet materials by Aquafil customers across the globe to create new sustainably made products.”

“We are thrilled to continue our journey to build a circular supply chain with a company that has also invested in solutions to help preserve our planet for the last several decades,” said Rachel Palopoli, part of the family that founded and operates Planet Recycling. Palopoli will direct the new Aquafil Carpet Recycling collection point to increase used carpet collection in Arizona and California.

New Head of CalRecycle Appointed
Rachel Wagoner has been appointed Director of CalRecycle. Wagoner has served as Deputy Legislative Secretary in the Office of the Governor since 2019. She was Chief Consultant for the California State Senate Committee on Environmental Quality from 2009 to 2018, Research Director at the University of Illinois, Chicago School of Public Health from 2008 to 2009 and an Advisor at the Department of Environment for the City of Chicago in 2008. This position requires California Senate approval. 
Staff Profile: Rob Thiess
Product & Market Development Manager Rob Thiess joined CARE in 2019. Rob works with processors and manufacturers to grow and promote the number of products made from recycled post-consumer carpet. He also assists with CARE’s convenient collection efforts.

With expertise in chemistry and industrial minerals, from 2009-2013 Rob was EVP of The Carpet Recyclers, which was named CARE's Recycler of the Year in 2012. The Carpet Recyclers recycled millions of pounds of post-consumer carpet and opened doors for the technology that is used today. In his work, Rob has recycled millions of tons of various waste streams, including wastewater sludges, precious metal-bearing filter cakes, foundry silica sand, aluminum oxides, calcium sulfites and ferrous metals. As the North American Sales Manager for KMI Group, Rob utilized PCC materials generated in California for compounding high-performance polyamide pellets used in a variety of automotive applications.

Born and raised in California, Rob is an avid photographer, car enthusiast, skater, surfer and one-wheeler who loves to be outdoors. He enjoys gardening, cooking and taking care of his three cats and is most proud of his success in raising his two healthy and successful children, Kaleb 23 and Kaitlyn, 19.