CARE Meeting Notes: What is CARE?

The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) held their 10th annual Entrepreneur Meeting in Atlanta on October 23rd.  I was lucky enough to attend and I’ll be writing a few notes from the meeting for the RecycleAmp blog over the next few days.  The Entrepreneur Meeting was a great opportunity for me to catch up with some familiar friends as well as meet many new ones.  This post contains some thoughts on what I learned at the meeting about CARE.  For info on CARE directly from the source, check out their About Us page.

According to CARE’s website, this mission of CARE is “to advance market-based solutions that increase landfill diversion and recycling of post-consumer carpet, encourage design for recyclability and meet meaningful goals as approved by the CARE Board of Directors.”  This mission was on clear display at the Entrepreneur Meeting.

Successful post consumer carpet recycling requires a few key players.  First, carpet collectors  pull the carpet up from residential and commercial locations, or collect carpet from landfills.  The collectors often segregate the carpet by polymer type.  Then recyclers (processors) take the collected carpet and process it into a fluff, trying to get out as much dirt and contaminants as possible.  The fluff is then used in various applications, including as shoddy or to make pads (usually PET), as feedstock for repro by recyclers and compounders, or for some other application.  Often times one company acts as a collector and processor.  From Long Island Carpet Recovery to Wellman, the Entrepreneur Meeting was attended by all types of members of the recycling process I just described.

CARE works hard to help their entrepreneurs (collectors) in many ways–one of them being the annual Entrepreneur Meeting.  The meeting featured a session entirely dedicated to letting the carpet collectors say what they have for sale and the recyclers say what they are interested in purchasing.  It seems like CARE does an awesome job throughout the year providing entrepreneurs with as many connections to purchasers as possible.

Another crucial function of CARE is serving as the stewardship organization administering the California Carpet Stewardship Program (AB 2398).  California AB 2398 is a State Law in California that taxes carpet producers for each yard they sell in California and then distributes those funds to carpet recyclers based on the amount and type of material they recycle.  Care administers the funds to post consumer carpet recyclers in California.  Read more about this service here.

Further, CARE leads new initiatives in recycling, such as their effort to find new ways to recycle and use post consumer PET.  Lastly, CARE also provides reporting on the progress of post consumer recycling goals.

Bottom line: CARE is crucial to organizing and brining together the various players in post consumer recycling.  Stay tuned for much more on the 2013 CARE Entrepreneur Meeting coming soon.

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