Crandall says that working with Carpet Recyclers has been a boon to him.
“We have a 30-yard dumpster here, and we were emptying it two to three times per week before I started,” says the Owensboro native whose family has been selling carpet for 40 years. “Now we’re down to two, sometimes three, a month. So that has cut my waste bill down to half of what it was. And even paying the money I have to pay to get the trailer to Louisville, it’s still dollars to dollars ahead for me (in terms of waste-management costs). It’s been great. I wish more people would do it.”
There are several reasons why more carpet retailers aren’t currently in “recovery” – namely, the fact that new housing starts and automotive sales have plummeted over the past year. That is compounded by the reality that there aren’t a whole lot of recyclers/middle-men around the country (and many of them are facing tough times because of the general economic slump). Add to that the fact that the carpet-recovery business is still in its infancy. And you’re looking at a potential new field in a green economy that has lots of promise – but still has a ways to go.
“From 2002 to 2007, we had 1 billion pounds of material diverted,” Peoples says. Not bad. But not great either, an outsider might observe.
“There’s an awful lot going on right now, and you really have to sort of peel the onion to see all that’s happening. The carpet industries and entrepreneurial communities have started programs. …But the second half of 2007 and 2008 is going to be a tough year. The melt-down in the subprime mortgage market has really hurt. Some of the new carpet being sold today has old carpet in it, in the fiber of the backing – and some of that padding is made from 100 percent post-consumer carpet. So the outlets for recovered materials are depressed. You can’t justify collection if you don’t have the resources (to resell or recycle to).”
Peoples, who helped found CARE in the early 2000′s, adds that things have also been impacted by the market downturn in automotive sales.<--Previous : : Next Page-->