February 2021
Capital Grants Awarded
CARE's California Carpet Stewardship Program has awarded two additional Capital Improvement Grants under Cycle 4A Round 2, totaling $325,000. The projects are expected to result in an additional 9 million pounds of California post-consumer carpet (PCC) collection or recycled output in 2021. Grants are awarded to:

Circular Polymers, Lincoln, CA for investment in new processing equipment to increase throughput of residential and commercial broadloom California PCC. The equipment also represents the first step in building a new line to process California tile ($250,000).

Moto’s Transportation, Sacramento, CA for establishment of a new tri-county drop-off site with specific incentives for source-separated loads of PCC. The site is intended to create a more efficient solution for commercial flooring professionals and small contractors ($75,000).

See also the Grants page on the CARE website.
 CARE Strategy on Track
Update from CARE Executive Director, Bob Peoples:

Despite a heavy setback due to COVID-19, CARE’s two-phase strategy for growth of the carpet recycling program is working as planned. The two major elements of Phase 1 have been successfully executed and continue to be supported. In the fall of 2019 Phase 2 was enabled and things were well staged going into Q1 of 2020.

The pandemic cost the recycling community a year of lost time. Now things are back on track with a dozen new projects actively underway and an additional set of ideas being considered. 2021 will also see a big push on carpet tile reuse and recycling.
Bena Sanitary Landfill Collects Most Carpet in the State in 2020
Bena Landfill staff
CARE drop-off site Bena Sanitary Landfill in Bakersfield collected over 1.6 million pounds of carpet in 2020 – the most of any CARE drop-off site in California. We spoke with Sergio Furtado, Public Works Maintenance Superintendent, to find out more about the site’s successful operations.
Why do you think Bena Landfill has been so successful at recycling carpet? Furtado observed that Bena droppable-1614117207125Landfill was a high-volume site, the largest in Kern County, with expanded loading dock and collection areas. Carpet -- like any recyclable material that comes to county landfill – gets a 50% “source separated discount” if it is separated and brought directly to the recycling area. He noted that besides the savings on tip fees, contractors save time by going straight to the recycling area, bypassing the line used by the franchise haulers. 

Furtado credits staff education for increased carpet collection: “Our staff is part of the hazardous waste exclusion program when they see loads bypassing recycling, they redirect them to the recycling area. Our field supervisor has the right staff on the dock who know what needs to be loaded and what can’t be.” Reinforcing good news is also helpful: when Bena Sanitary Landfill was recognized on a recent CARE call, Furtado printed out copies of the recognition to pass out to the staff.

How do contractors find out about carpet recycling? “For every new program, we put out a media release.” For contractors, word of mouth is also important: “It starts at the gatehouse.”

How has the CARE drop-off site program helped you? Furtado said a major advantage was scheduling a regular trailer pickup day: “We’re on a regular schedule with swaps. If there’s not enough carpet, we will cancel, but the pickup day is not a guessing game.” Another winner is the CARE recycled product catalog and samples: “Customers like to know what’s going to happen with their material.”

Do you have future plans to increase recycling? Furtado said they have a huge area for mattress and carpet recycling: “We’re looking at covers to keep material dry – even though there’s not a lot of rain in Kern County. But that’s a big project that will take some time.”

Pictured: Bena Sanitary Landfill staff Gabriel Martinez, Ike Hornsby, Alexis Caseres and Ramon Garcia
New Drop-Off Sites Announced
As part of our efforts to increase carpet collection for recycling across the state, CARE is pleased to announce two new carpet recycling drop-off sites in Santa Barbara County:

There are currently 85 CARE-supported public drop-off sites in the state, serving 53 counties.

CARE supports drop-off sites by providing at no cost:
  • A container for collection,
  • Third-party hauling to bring carpet material to recyclers,
  • Promotional materials for local government and the hosting facility,
  • Technical assistance from CARE staff and
  • Ready access to micro-grants supporting site set-up and collection equipment.
To find the CARE-sponsored drop-off site closest you, visit the drop-off site map here. If there is a location, such as a supply house, landfill, transfer station, or recycling facility that you feel would be helpful for you and other flooring professionals near you, please email CARE with the facility's name and location. A CARE staff person will call you to discuss your volume, learn more about flooring professionals’ needs in your area and work toward finding a solution.

In addition to public drop-off sites, CARE works with the recyclers who operate more than 180 private network collection sites around the state.
CARE Releases Reuse Study RFP
CARE has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Reuse Study on Post-Consumer Carpet Barriers and Opportunities. Since 2011, statistics on the amount of carpet diverted through reuse generally reflect an upward trajectory; however, reuse has seemingly plateaued since a high of 926,000 pounds in 2016. The purpose of this project is to inform CARE on the possible barriers and opportunities to increasing the reuse of carpet as a floor covering.

Deadline for proposal submission is noon Pacific, March 5, 2021. Preference is given to California-based proposers.

Efforts Underway to Increase Carpet Reuse
CARE has launched a pilot ad campaign with Habitat for Humanity ReStore in the Bay Area to increase and direct public demand for high quality, low cost used carpet tile. The digital ads point users searching for used carpet squares or planning a home renovation project (such as a gym, home office or play area in the garage) to visit the ReStore’s carpet-specific landing page. If successful, the ad project will be expanded to other areas.

Photo courtesy The Habitat ReStore.
Eastman To Build Chemical Recycling Plant in TN
Eastman Chemical Co. will build one of the world's largest plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facilities at its current site in Kingsport, Tennessee. The facility is expected to cost $250 million and will be mechanically completed by year-end 2022. The company has committed to recycling more than 250 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2025.
California is a leading supplier of post-consumer carpet through Eastman’s partnership with CARE grantee Circular Polymers, which densifies the carpet fiber for easier transport.

Read more in Recycling Today.
Save the Date! CARE Annual Conference
Mark your calendars! The CARE Annual Conference will take place August 31-September 1 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Registration and program details will be coming in March.
We look forward to seeing you!
minneapolis skyline