July 2021
Union Grant to Increase Carpet Collection
CARE's California Carpet Stewardship Program has awarded its first grant to an apprentice and journeyman program under Cycle 4 Micro Grants for Collection/Reuse (Cycle 4M). The award comes out of a separate $100,000 fund designated for apprentices and journeymen in the carpet installation sector. The monies fulfill CARE’s on-going commitment to supporting this sector under its 2018-22 California Carpet Stewardship Plan.
The $15,000 grant was awarded to District Council 16 of the Journeyman and Apprentice Training Trust Fund (JATTF) of San Leandro to establish a post-consumer carpet (PCC) collection station and wrapper that will prepare the PCC to recycler specifications. The equipment will also weigh the PCC, enabling businesses to earn points toward LEED certification. JATTF plans to begin using the new equipment in August and estimates diverting at least one truckload of PCC per week from California landfills. JATTF is a regional training center for apprentices and also provides continuing education for journeymen in multiple trades. (Photo: Rolls of broadloom to be recycled at DC 16)
CARE’s Cycle 4M remains open to applications through the end of 2021. The maximum grant award is $15,000.

Convenient Collection Expanding

In addition to working with the flooring installer union, CARE is partnering with major manufacturers Mohawk and Shaw to pilot convenient collection efforts for their customers at will-call distribution centers in both Northern and Southern California. Stay tuned for more details in future e-news.
Testing Grant Case Study: necoTech
Delaware, OH-based necoTech is testing the addition of densified California post-consumer carpet (PCC) material to concrete and asphalt, a potentially huge market for this recycled carpet material. A $100,000 CARE grant funded testing the California-sourced PCC material as a raw component in asphalt and concrete through the National Center for Asphalt Technology. The positive testing results coupled with the prestige of secured military contracts positions necoTech for impressive growth.
New Flyer Highlights Progress of CA Program
CARE has published a four-page flyer that describes the California Carpet Stewardship Program and recent progress, aimed at informing retailers and increasing collection of carpet for recycling. It was mailed this month to over 9,000 retailers and flooring contractors across the state. The flyer details CARE’s work with retailers, installers, manufacturers, processors and local government to increase the amount of carpet collected, kept out of landfill and made into useful new products. 
CARE Assists Professor Working with Plastic-Eating Microbes
A recent article, published by Northeastern University, profiles a new chemical recycling experiment with relevance to carpet. Georgia State University professor Eric Gilbert is working to find a novel way of converting waste plastic into commercial uses:
“Yeast microbes, Gilbert contends, are equipped to do the job. In his lab, Gilbert and his team break plastic into bite-sized molecules that are small enough for yeast microbes to eat. As the microbes consume those plastic molecules and grow, they produce fatty acids that can be sold for use in all sorts of commercial products, including paint, solvent, and industrial lubricants. The fermentation process is similar to the one that breweries use, except that instead of making beer, it makes fatty acids.”

CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples has been consulting with Dr. Gilbert for a number of years and is quoted in the article, noting that CARE provides Gilbert’s lab with post-consumer carpet discards for their experiments.

Plan Documents Posted
Supplemental documents and reports were delivered to CalRecycle on June 30 in accordance with CARE’s Five-Year Plan. They include:
The documents will be reviewed by CalRecycle and their response is expected to be issued at the agency’s September public meeting.

All the Plan documents can be viewed here.
There’s Still Time: Register Now for the Annual Conference!
CARE’s 19th Annual Conference is set for August 31-September 1 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Take the opportunity to catch up with friends and trends at the carpet recycling industry’s first conference since May 2019. Speakers include Perc Pineda of PLASTICS, Floor Focus magazine’s Kemp Harr, mill representatives and other experts in the field.

No time to travel? Attend virtually!
To allow for maximum attendance, CARE will offer the Conference in a hybrid format: besides the in-person gathering, attendees may choose to meet virtually via Zoom. All registered participants will be asked to confirm their preference (attending in-person vs. virtually) by no later than July 30, 2021.