The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) honored two leaders from the growing world of post-consumer carpet recycling at the organization’s eighth Annual Conference held April 26 through April 28 at the La Posada de Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The recycling group announced winners of the CARE Recycler of the Year and Person of the Year awards.
Shaw Industries was recognized by CARE for its continued investment in both people and processes designed to increase the diversion of post-consumer carpet from landfills. Shaw Industries was previously honored by CARE for its outstanding carpet recycling efforts in 2007, when it received the Recycler of the Year award following its purchase and launch of the Evergreen Nylon Recycling facility. As a cornerstone of their reclamation efforts, Shaw’s Evergreen Nylon Recycling program converts Nylon 6 fiber from post-consumer carpet back into the raw material to make new carpet fiber. As the leader in carpet recycling by volume, Shaw currently recycles enough nylon fiber to wrap the earth more than 2,000 times each year.
Since Shaw opened up the Evergreen plant in 2007, the company has recycled more than 220 million pounds of post-consumer Nylon 6 carpet and more than 36 million pounds of post-consumer carpet filler. In addition to its current reclamation operations, Shaw continues to research opportunities for ways to utilize waste carpet.
For example, in 2009, Shaw began construction of Re2E (Reclaim to Energy), a first-of-its kind, carpet-fueled co-generation facility in Dalton, Georgia. The facility will consume 76 million pounds of post-consumer and post-industrial carpet annually and will generate electricity and steam power for one of the company’s carpet mills. The project addresses three of Shaw’s main environmental priorities: alternative energy sourcing (and energy cost stabilization), the diversion of post-consumer and post-industrial carpet waste from landfills, and the expansion of Shaw’s post-consumer carpet reclamation network.
Another example of Shaw’s forward-looking strategy is its creation of the Materials Recovery Strategic Business Unit. This newly staffed team is dedicated to developing products derived from all types of post-consumer carpets and then finding paths to markets for these newly-created products.
“CARE is very pleased to recognize Shaw Industries with the Recycler of the Year Award’, says Georgina Sikorski, Executive Director of CARE. “Shaw has an outstanding history of investment in people and processes to recycle post-consumer carpet. We are very grateful for Shaw’s commitment to the CARE organization and our members.”
In recognition of her exemplary leadership as CARE’s executive director, Georgina Sikorski was named CARE Person of the Year. Since joining CARE in 2009, Sikorski has guided the group through overwhelmingly difficult economic conditions, managing during that time to significantly increase both revenues and membership – CARE membership currently stands at 280, up from 50 just a year earlier. In addition, influenced by Sikorski’s enthusiasm and skill at accomplishing goals, the CARE Board of Directors has made remarkable progress towards the organization’s corporate goals of achieving sustainable funding, developing end-markets for post-consumer carpet, and increasing awareness of CARE and its leadership position in carpet recycling.