“If you lift up the hood of your car, you’ll see a lot of black plastic in there – radiator caps, and other parts under the hood – and many of those are made from recovered PCC. So demand for those parts will be down because of the decrease in car sales.”
Still, the advocate says that because 50 percent of all carpet is derived from petroleum, the plastic in the carpet has real value. And eventually, demand for that refuse will rebound. The carpet sector has to be pro-active in keeping recovery afloat until then.
Owensboro native Crandall agrees. He’s concerned that just as the carpet recycling movement was getting its legs, unforeseen forces dampened the momentum.
“The guy I deal with in Louisville, Jim Tafel, this is a relatively new thing for him as well. And what he’s struggling with is that manufacturers will only take so much of the fibers at a time and then they shut him off, and for his business model, that pretty much cuts his cash flow off. So I’m concerned people like him will not be able to make it until there are more manufacturers willing to participate (or more places to sell PCC).
“I’m even covering some of the cost of the loads, because not all the fibers I send him can be used. And when that happens, he has to pay to dispose of it himself. What can be used he will sell back to Shaw or Mohawk or whoever.
“The other problem is, there’s not a lot of retailers like me, trying to really get involved. We’re trying to get other carpet dealers in our area to jump on board and use us as a consolidation point, where they’d pay us a little bit of a fee for getting the PCC to Louisville (about two hours from Owensboro). And if they’d consider the amount they could save, dollars to dollars, I think they’d be more interested in it.”
But Crandall adds, “Some of them are competitors of mine, and they probably think I’m trying to make money on it. … It helps me save money (to recycle his used carpet), but also it’s the thing to do for the environment. I’ve probably saved eight tons per week from going to the landfill. If we could all get on board and do it, imagine how much we could keep out of the landfills.”