Thursday, January 27, 2011

Facilities Managers: Ready to be a Carpet Hero?

Facilities Managers: Ready to be a Carpet Hero?

New Carpet and Rug Institute web tool offers facilities managers help for carpet maintenance so they can be a 'Carpet Hero.'

In his November 19 column for the Dalton Daily Citizen News, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun talks about the newest interactive brochure and web tool from the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval (SOA) Program. The article is titled "Be a carpet hero."

Designed to reach facility managers, executive housekeepers, and other professionals charged with the appearance and function of offices, apartment complexes and commercial building of all kinds, two collections of case studies titled, “Confessions of a Carpet Killer” and “Diary of a Carpet Hero” offer simple and straightforward information about how using (or failing to use) Seal of Approval-certified carpet care products and equipment can literally save the day for a facility’s carpet or spell disaster (see related blogpost CRI Carpet Cleaning & Maintenance Brochure Includes Case Studies).

The “Confessions of a Carpet Killer” section lists four brief case studies, beginning with, “An Overdue Notice on Carpet Maintenance.” It begins,

“At the public library in Jamestown, N.Y., 800 square yards of carpet were installed with a life expectancy of 10 years, but the combination of high traffic and the effects of ice melt and poor maintenance left the carpet heavily soiled after just a year. Unfortunately, the old carpet was shelved. The total money lost: $50,000.”

The “Diary of a Carpet Hero” illustrates how using SOA-approved cleaning solutions and machinery saves money and something even more precious – the environment. One case study, “A Good Investment, A Decision that Saved It,” describes a New York law office that invested in 3,000 square yards of cut and loop woven carpet that had an expected life span of seven years plus.

“After just one year, it was looking spoiled and spotted, but with the decision to use a new CRI-approved cleaning program, significant costs in new flooring, labor and company downtime were saved. The total money saved: $337,000.

“Using CRI SOA products has a positive environmental impact. Properly maintaining your carpet means keeping it out of landfills and reducing the resources needed to manufacture, ship and install carpet. This can result in thousands of gallons of oil and tens of millions of British Thermal Units (BTUs) being conserved — because we here in the carpet industry believe in saving more than money.

“CRI’s SOA program is the carpet industry’s only test that scientifically measures cleaning efficacy for vacuums, extractors, cleaning systems and cleaning products. The results help consumers make more informed decisions, and manufacturers improve their product so carpets are cleaner, healthier and last longer.”

Thank you, Werner!

~ Bethany

Thursday, January 20, 2011

CARE's Sikorski on Complying With California AB 2398

CARE's Sikorski on Complying With California AB 2398

If It Ships, It Fits – Complying with California’s AB 2398

Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE)’s Georgina Sikorski tells carpet manufacturers and importers how to meet the requirements of the nation’s first product stewardship law for carpet.
In an interview that aired on Floordaily.net in January, 2011, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) Executive Director Georgina Sikorski tells publisher Kemp Harr that now is the time for any company that manufactures carpet in California or ships carpet for sale in that state to register a stewardship plan in order to stay in compliance with the law.

California AB 2398 Carpet Stewardship Program is product stewardship legislation that was signed into law in September, 2010. The first law of its kind directed specifically at carpet, AB 2398 is intended to increase the diversion and recycling of carpet in the state of California. In brief, the law establishes a .05 cent per square yard assessment that will ultimately be collected from the consumer. The money will be used to promote the recycling and landfill diversion of carpet in California. It will also go towards developing new products made with reclaimed or recycled carpet content.

(See related blog posts CARE Webinar: AB 2398 California Carpet Recycling Bill, CRI's Jennifer Mendez Covers State Legislatures for Carpet Industry: TalkFloorTV, Government Mandates vs. Private Sector Recycling: Carpet and Rug Institute's Jennifer Mendez)

Approximately 3.5 billion pounds of carpet are deposited in landfills each year in the United States. Since its founding in 2002, CARE has facilitated the recovery, reclamation, and recycling of 1.6 billion pounds of post-consumer carpet.

California named CARE to be the stewardship organization for AB 2398, which means the organization is tasked with, among other things, presenting a stewardship plan on behalf of the carpet industry to CalRecycle, the organization responsible for recycling in California. Ms. Sikorski stressed that carpet manufacturers should register with CARE or CalRecycle by July 1, 2011, adding that most carpet manufacturers have already registered with CARE. Her goal is to make sure the word gets out to all manufacturers as well as carpet importers that they must file a stewardship plan with either CARE or CalRecycle by July 1, 2011. 

Listen to the 7-minute interview titled Georgina Sikorski Discusses Compliance Requirements For Mills Selling Carpet into California by clicking on the link.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Housekeeping Channel on Why Clean Carpet

Housekeeping Channel on Why Clean Carpet

Why You Want Your Carpet to Come Clean by The Housekeeping Channel

I’ve often talked about the Carpet and Rug Institute’s booklet, Carpet Cleaning Tips for Dummies. Filled with tips and practical advice, the book is a great resource for folks who want to keep their carpets clean and looking new. And we’re not the only ones who think so – The Housekeeping Channel, a popular housecleaning information website has published an article titled, Why You Want Your Carpet to Come Clean, that summarizes info taken from the Dummies book. It’s worth a read.

Between longer work days, time-consuming commutes and kids’ activities that keep the calendar full, who has time to worry about cleaning the carpet? Today, we’re spending less time on household tasks, yet we still expect excellent results. Fortunately, carpet cleaning products, methods, and equipment are improving all the time. Cleaning carpet may seem like more of a chore than dusting a coffee table, but properly cleaning and maintaining your carpet makes all the difference in the world.

Preserve the life and beauty of your carpet

With their rich colors, textures, and intricate weaves, carpet and rugs can transform any room into a home. But like most textiles, the beauty and life of your carpet depends on the care it receives.

Did you know that independent testing by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has shown that many cleaning detergents and spot removers work no better than water? And, some leave a sticky residue that can cause the carpet to get dirty again faster than you can say, “Vacuum.” Even worse, some cleaning agents can actually damage carpet! Plus there is a significant difference in cleaning performances of the world’s many vacuums, commercial extractors, and professional carpet cleaning services. Abolishing poor-quality products and services in favor of proper cleaning will significantly lengthen the days of your carpet and preserve its appearance. Thankfully, the CRI Seal of Approval (SOA) program takes the guesswork out of selecting which products to use.

Improve your indoor air quality

Do you have allergies? Believe it or not, you can keep your carpet. Studies have shown that carpet is often better at trapping allergens than hard flooring such as tile or hardwood. How can this be? Particles and allergens fall to the floor (out of the breathing zone) and onto the carpet. The fibers of the carpet trap allergens and particles, reducing their continued circulation in the air. Proper cleaning with a CRI-approved vacuum effectively sucks up the dust in the carpet, locks it in the machine, and keeps it out of the air.

Allergic to carpet itself? Not likely. Most of today’s carpet is made from plastic fibers, which most people are not allergic to. Of course, if you have wool carpet and are allergic to wool, you might have a problem. In that case, you would remove the wool carpet and not buy a new one, just as you wouldn’t buy wool sweaters. And, if you are an allergy sufferer who wonders about carpet and mold, don’t worry. It’s difficult to grow mold on carpet. When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow.

Clean + Dry = No Mold
Avoid premature replacement costs and disposal in landfills

Let’s talk about the cost/value of keeping and maintaining carpet for its full lifecycle. Proper cleaning helps protect your carpet investment and safeguards you from having to replace it before its time — great news because it also keeps carpet out of the local dump.

Keeping post-consumer carpet out of landfills is an environmental goal benefiting us all. With more than 300 million Americans — and that number keeps growing! — household waste is an environmental concern. Most school children today have learned the new “three Rs,” which stand for reduce, reuse, and recycle. If spending a little extra effort and, yes, money, on your floor covering helps meet this environmental goal, you may agree it’s worth it.

But maintaining your carpet also protects your pocketbook in the long run. Just how long should a well-cared-for carpet last? It’s hard to say. Believe it or not, there are cases out there of 100-plus-year-old Oriental rugs still in use. But generally speaking, 10 years is given as a guideline for quality carpets that are well-maintained (12.4 years according to DuPont studies). Use manufacturers’ warranties as a guide to how long you can anticipate a particular carpet to last. And look at those warranties carefully — large carpet manufacturers are tying their new carpet warranties to proper cleaning and maintenance with CRI Seal of Approval products.

Thanks to the Housekeeping Channel for helping spread the word!

~Bethany

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Carpet and Extended Producer Responsibility: CRI's Jennifer Mendez on TalkFloorTV

Carpet and Extended Producer Responsibility: CRI's Jennifer Mendez on TalkFloorTV

No Trash Talk About Carpet for Her! Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)’s Jennifer Mendez Part of Coalition Addressing Extended Producer Responsibility with State Legislatures

In part two of her video interview with TalkFloor.com, CRI Government Relations Director Jennifer Mendez talks about other states that are considering Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation similar to the laws passed by California and Maine.

Last year, California passed AB 2398 Carpet Product Stewardship Act, the nation’s first extended producer responsibility legislation specifically for carpet. Maine has passed broad-based framework legislation looking into the development of EPR programs. As a result of that legislation, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was required to prepare a report to be presented to the legislature’s Natural Resources Committee. That report was released in early December. In the report, carpet was referenced, but said not to be a focus of EPR at this time.

Following in the footsteps of bellwether states Maine and California, Ms. Mendez says Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas, and Minnesota are currently considering EPR framework legislation of their own. “When things happen in California, they are likely to trickle down to other states,” Ms. Mendez said. She explained that, while each state’s needs are different, and would therefore need EPR legislation to suit the needs of each individual state’s economy, she emphasized the potential burden to the carpet industry of fifty states with fifty different EPR laws. The other option is federal legislation, which carries burdens of its own, she said.

Ms. Mendez also discussed the results of the November elections and what influence the influx of 690 Republican state legislators around the country is likely to have on the carpet industry. 

Here is the link to Part II of Ms. Mendez' interview with TalkFloor.com.

If you missed Part I of Jennifer Mendez' interview with TalkFloor.com, simply click on this link. You can also access my summary of Part I of the interview in CRI's Jennifer Mendez Covers State Legislatures for Carpet Industry: TalkFloorTV, my post from earlier this week.

~Bethany

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CRI's Jennifer Mendez Covers State Legislatures for Carpet Industry: TalkFloorTV

CRI's Jennifer Mendez Covers State Legislatures for Carpet Industry: TalkFloorTV

One Woman, Fifty States. How the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Jennifer Mendez Covers State Legislatures on Behalf of the Carpet Industry - Extended Producer Responsibility Legislation is Hot Issue Now

In two video interviews on the Talkfloor.com website, Jennifer Mendez, CRI’s director of government relations, discusses how she keeps tabs on state legislation and follows issues that either are, or could potentially affect the carpet industry. She talks about states that have pending or proposed product stewardship legislation, and how so far, CRI has had input into the legislative processes in Maine and California. California recently passed AB 2398 Carpet Product Stewardship Act, the nation’s first extended producer responsibility legislation specifically for carpet. Maine looked at carpet as a potential focus for EPR but has decided against the possibility for the time being.

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation (sometimes called product stewardship or take-back programs) is an approach to environmental protection that calls on those in the product lifecycle—manufacturers, retailers, users, and disposers— to share responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts of products. [See Government Mandates vs. Private Sector Recycling.]

In the TalkFloor interview, Ms. Mendez explains how she uses a tracking service to follow the progress of hundreds of bills introduced in state legislatures every year, in order to identify and address bills that could potentially harm the carpet industry, as well as to promote those bills that are likely to have a positive effect.

In the past several years, Ms. Mendez says states have expanded their focus on regulating landfill waste beyond hazardous materials such as mercury switches used in the auto industry and various electronics components, to products such as paint and, in some instances, carpet.

Last year, Maine passed broad-reaching framework legislation (LD 1631) that expressed the state’s intent to study product classes and identify those that would make appropriate subjects for extended producer responsibility legislation. This year, the state has indicated that it will not be focusing on carpet, largely because of the carpet industry’s extensive voluntary recycling efforts. Maine is the most recent signer of the Memorandum of Understanding that supports the Carpet America Recycling Effort, the non-profit group that, since 2002, has facilitated the recycling of 1.6 billion pounds of post-consumer carpet.

In California, where the nation’s first carpet-specific legislation passed this year, Ms. Mendez explained how a group comprising CRI staff and representatives from CRI member companies worked with California legislators to construct that state’s proposed EPR legislation into something that the carpet industry could support. For example, she points to how CRI pushed to have the 5 cents per square yard surcharge that will be added to each consumer’s cost for carpet visible to the consumer. Most governments, Ms. Mendez says, prefer to institute hidden fees. Another point the carpet industry supported was for the monies collected to be used to incentivize the recycling of carpet by being distributed to those businesses that recycle carpet in California. This is in contrast to other EPR programs where the money collected goes to the government.

As for other governments and regulatory bodies who are considering EPR legislation similar to California’s AB 2398, Mendez says she has been asking for the carpet industry to be given time to see how the California law will work before additional bills are passed. “It will be a difficult program to manage,” she said.

Listen and watch Part I of Jennifer Mendez' interview with TalkFloor.com by clicking on this link.

My next post will cover Part 2 of the interview with Ms. Mendez. She'll discuss EPR legislation proposed in other states.

~Bethany

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Carpet Industry & Georgia Tax Reform and Fairness

Werner Braun: Carpet Industry Input Vital to Georgia Economy

Werner Braun: Carpet Industry Input Vital to Georgia Economy


In his column that appeared in the October 29, 2010, edition of the Dalton Daily Citizen News titled, Tax Reform Suggestions Will Help Us All, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discussed his experience speaking on behalf of the carpet industry at the final public hearing on Tax Reform and Fairness held earlier that month in Dalton, Georgia

Mr. Braun appeared at the request of the Carpet and Rug Institute Board of Directors to provide perspective on the magnitude of the carpet industry and its impact on Georgia’s economy. From his article:

“As the representative of Georgia’s largest manufacturing segment, and the state’s second largest overall industry, we felt it was vitally important that our views on tax reform not only be heard, but given stern consideration as this council takes back recommendations to the General Assembly in January.”

Mr. Braun stressed that nearly 70 percent of the carpet produced domestically is manufactured within a 65 mile radius of Dalton. And, because the industry directly employs more than 54,000 people, it makes a huge contribution to the state’s tax pool.

“The carpet industry’s impact is great on this region, this state and the nation. It remains one of the last bastions of U.S. manufacturing as very little carpet is imported into our country.

At the manufacturing mill level, we have seen sales of soft floor covering drop from almost $12 billion in sales in 2007 to $8.6 billion last year. The numbers for this year will be similar based on the estimates we have thus far. Generally, carpet gets marked up anywhere from 15 to 40 percent at the retail level, easily making the industry a solid $15 billion industry.”

In addition to CRI, representatives from several area carpet mills were in attendance to add their voices to the debate on ways to help our economy. The consensus was that the industry needs incentives to expand and put more people back to work.

“As an industry that has collectively made its share of tough decisions, we certainly appreciate the task that has been handed down to this special council (on tax reform)….we understand that the council faces some very difficult choices, not all of which will be politically popular.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Colorful World of Airport Carpet: George Pendle's Carpet For Airports Site

George Pendle's Carpet For Airports Site

Happy Landings! A Frequent Traveler - George Pendle - Calls Attention to the Colorful World of Airport Carpet


If you are like me, the first thing you do when you walk into a new place is take a good look at the carpet.

What? You don’t?

Well, I don’t think it’s strange, and neither does George Pendle. Mr. Pendle is an author, and the founder of a blog called, Carpets for Airports.

The blog is all about the carpet (or lack of it) in airports around the world. Visitors to the blog are greeted with a message that lets them know they are in for an experience that is as much comic monologue as travelogue:

“From Santiago to Sydney, from Bishkek to Boston, the airport carpet sings out its inviolable song, a sign of man's refusal to go drably into that dark night of international travel.

Such aesthetic intimacy, poetry and passion, has for too long gone unnoticed by the modern traveler.

Until now”.

On Carpetsforairports.com, visitors spin the globe, click on any of the red dots, and voila! – pictures appear of carpet from airports around the world. Not pictures of airports and carpet, or people and carpet, or even feet and carpet. Just carpet all by itself.

Sometimes, as in the case of Bangkok International, there’s a picture of hard surface flooring accompanied by a commentary on why it would be better if the airport had carpet.

The Colorful World of Airport Carpet - Bangkok

“BKK shamelessly apes the geometric patterns found on airport carpets across the world, but has the gall to reproduce them in the medium of terrazzo. Do the airport authorities really think we can’t tell the difference? A large crack in this despicable flooring suggests that even the ground beneath it is repelled.”

The tongue-in-cheek commentary is written by George Pendle, a frequent traveler who has authored several books, including a fictional biography of American President Millard Fillmore. Pendle’s arch descriptions are highly entertaining, like this one about the somewhat disturbing carpet in Singapore’s Changi airport:

The Colorful World of Airport Carpet - Singapore

“One of the most psychologically terrifying carpets in the world, SIN’s vertiginous pattern was designed to give anyone who walks on it the impression of falling out of a window of a skyscraper in the brightly-lit Downtown Core, Singapore’s business district.”

On why he started Carpets for Airports, Pendle told the Los Angeles Times,  [note: a few more details are captured in You can also read more in "Pendle's Airport Carpet Blog".

"Flooring is considered mundane. We're all too busy looking at the sky and the planes to look at the ground beneath us. So I thought it would be a fun experiment to compare and contrast airport carpets from around the world.”

Pendle welcomes photographs to the site, offering, "All carpets gratefully received. All photographs fully credited."

Calling all carpeteers

~Bethany
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