March 2021
Q4 2020 Results in Record Recycling Rate
Recently released results for Q4 2020 indicate that recovery is underway for carpet recycling in California, which reached a recycling rate of 23.2% - a new high-water mark. This can be attributed in part to the ongoing recovery in the residential sector.

Since the fall of 2019, the California program has focused on expanding collections. While COVID-19 impacted the rate of success CARE currently has ten initiatives underway addressing the growth in collections. A number of additional ideas/approaches are under discussion, including a newly enhanced subsidy for tile reuse and recycling.

CalRecycle Recommendation on 2019 Annual Report
At the March 16 public meeting, CalRecycle staff presented their recommendation for CARE’s 2019 Annual Report, submitted last fall. The staff presentation acknowledged that CARE had made important program improvements, including increased collection convenience, recycling rate, recycled output and recyclability along with a decrease in amount of carpet sent to landfill. The staff recommendation was to find CARE non-compliant with the law and to refer to Enforcement if CARE is not making progress toward achieving compliance. As of this time, the new Director has not made a final decision on staff’s recommendation.

“While we are disappointed with the finding, the recommendation to not refer CARE for enforcement immediately seems to be a confirmation that, while we were not able to achieve some of the Program’s goals, tremendous and ongoing progress is being made, including a 107% increase in the recycling rate over the last 5 years. That’s on average 20% growth each year!” noted CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples. “We are proud to have achieved this increase in the recycling rate despite many challenges, and we will continue to work closely with CalRecycle to grow carpet collection, reuse and recycling in the state.”

Micro Grants Cycle 4M Now Open
CARE has opened a new cycle of its Micro Grants Program for Collection/Reuse, with the goal to promote the additional collection and reuse of California post-consumer carpet (PCC). Cycle 4M funds will be awarded for the infrastructure projects and/or purchase of equipment that supports the operational logistics of properly collecting and/or reusing California PCC under a new or established program. This program focuses exclusively on new collection; funds may not be used for material currently being collected. This Cycle has allocated $100,000 in funding; maximum grant awards are limited to $15,000.

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a continuous basis through 2021 until funds are exhausted.

See the 4M Solicitation and application on the CARE Grants webpage for complete details on eligibility, requirements and schedule.
Outreach Underway to Hard Surface Retailers and Installers
CARE is sending a series of communications to a curated list of hard surface retailers and licensed installers in the state, in order to reach flooring professionals who may not sell carpet but are involved with tearing it out.

A flyer is going out this month to raise awareness of carpet’s recyclability and to inform about carpet collection at CARE drop-off sites. 
2020 Grants Roundup: CARE Grantees Overcome Challenges and Thrive
Despite unprecedented headwinds in 2020, many CARE grantees kept pace with 2019 metrics or made strides toward new objectives by year’s end. Accomplishments include:
  • Approximately $2.2 million in grant funding was awarded under three cycles in 2020, with nearly 70 percent designated for California-based companies.
  • Four new post-consumer carpet collectors came online as a result of the program, as well as two new rural counties that did not previously have a public drop-off site.
  • Grant-funded capital projects launched prior to 2020 resulted in over 30 million pounds of recycled output or PCC in finished secondary products along with more than 15 million additional pounds of PCC collected for recycling.
  • Cycle 3 testing grantees awarded in 2020 are exploring four new applications or products for PCC use.
  • Seven Cycle 3 Micro Grants supported increased collection across the state, while prior year micro grantees collected over 8 million pounds of California-sourced PCC as a result of their grant funding.
  • New Cycle 3 micro grants will result in at least 2 million additional pounds collected in 2021, while six new Cycle 4 capital projects are projecting at least 25 million additional post-consumer carpet pounds collected, processed or manufactured into new products in 2021.

CARE opened Cycle 4 of its micro grant program this month, and interested entities may now apply through CARE’s new, easy-to-use online grant application form.

CARE anticipates launching new cycles of its capital grants and testing grants programs in April.

Pictured: Capital grantee Visions Environmental of Oroville, CA, manufactures lightweight aggregate and decorative garden products from recycled carpet material.

Differential Assessments: Feedback Requested
In order to comply with recent changes in the carpet stewardship law, CARE has developed a draft proposal for new differential assessments on carpet. Prior to submission of the final proposal to CalRecycle, CARE is encouraging retailers and mills to submit feedback on the impact of these changes to their businesses to CARE and CalRecycle. 

Learn more here: and sign up for interactive informational webinars on March 24, 30 or 31.
CARE on the Road
Earlier this month CARE staff attended the Mohawk Momentum Road Show in Huntington Beach, California.

Program Director Jacy Bolden took the opportunity to connect with Mohawk customers from across the state to hear firsthand from retailers about how to increase carpet recycling and overcome barriers to carpet collection.
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 soon.
We look forward to seeing you!
minneapolis skyline