Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Carpet Recycling in Crain's New York Business: Sean Ragiel, Carpet Cycle

Sean Ragiel, Carpet Cycle, on Carpet Recycling & CARE in Crain's New York Business

Carpet Recycling Makes News: CARE Board Member, Sean Ragiel, Profiled in NYC Business Publication.

Article also promotes efforts of Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE)

Everywhere you look - websites, newspapers, and television - the media are enthusiastically covering stories that have strong environmental angles. I particularly enjoy a story that profiles a successful individual who has found a way to turn a profit while helping the environment at the same time.

Especially when I know the person being profiled.

A recent article entitled, “Entrepreneurs make a clean break: Wanna buy a used carpet?” on the Crain’s Business New York website looks at the accomplishments of environmental entrepreneur and Carpet America Recovery Effort board member Sean Ragiel. According to its website, “Crain's New York Business provides news, information and connections on all facets of New York through the prism of business. Crain's is a weekly newspaper focusing on New York-area business news for upper-level executives and entrepreneurs with a circulation of more than 58,500 and a breaking news media outlet online at crainsnewyork.com.

The article explains how last year Sean’s business, CarpetCycle, “collected 12 million pounds of discarded carpeting from offices and other commercial buildings in New York and New Jersey. His team in Elizabeth, N.J., sorts the carpet by type, prepares it and ships it to manufacturers that remake it into new carpets, automotive parts and other products. Mr. Ragiel grossed $2.5 million last year.”

CarpetCycle’s New York City market generates 1 billion pounds of spent carpet each year, or about one sixth of the nation’s annual output. The article discusses Sean’s plans to expand CarpetCycle into a larger facility in New Jersey and his discussions with the NYC government, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Georgia carpet-tile manufacturer InterfaceFlor to set up a 20,000-square-foot facility that would process carpet and also manufacture products from the recycled nylon.

The problem Sean says, is finding markets for the nylon recovered from carpet. Currently the material is being processed back into carpet fiber and in some cases being sold as engineered resins for use in molded plastic components for cars and small consumer goods, among other uses.

“In the meantime, Mr. Ragiel spends much of his time working on new products and selling manufacturers on using recycled carpet.

‘Carpet mills have done a lot to create markets,’ he says. ‘My job is to find solutions to the ongoing multibillion-pound supply.’”

Sean Ragiel and CarpetCycle represent just one of the people and organizations working to promote carpet recycling through the Carpet America Recovery Effort, but the magazine could not have chosen a better example to showcase this complex industry.

Congratulations, Sean, and thank you for your commitment to CARE!

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