Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tandus Flooring Gives Back to Dalton, Whitfield County

Tandus Flooring Gives Back to Dalton, Whitfield County

Going Local in Dalton, Ga and Whitfield County: CRI Manufacturer Tandus Flooring Makes It Personal on Special Day of Service

In his April 14, 2012 column titled "Global company gives back to Dalton and Whitfield County" in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun congratulates Tandus Flooring,  a Carpet and Rug Institute member manufacturer that held its annual special day of community service recently.  Teaming with the local United Way office, Tandus employees once again “made it personal” by helping with projects at several local schools and the Boys and Girls Club

“This long-term commitment to our area schools and community organizations is a boon to Dalton and to Whitfield County. As an international company that could host its sales meetings anywhere in the world, Tandus has chosen to bring its “extended family home” to Chattanooga every other year. Tandus employees could be performing these service projects just about anywhere, but the company has chosen to keep it local. And we’re glad they have.

Many of those who ended up at Brookwood Elementary School helped install Powerbond floorcovering, Tandus’ resilient hybrid flooring which is designed to provide long-lasting beauty in high traffic areas for up to 15 to 20 years. Other volunteers created garden spots at the school. Some even worked on a greenhouse.

Volunteers at Dalton Middle School helped create a butterfly garden in honor of a teacher. And those who helped out at the Boys and Girls Club (many for the second time) enhanced recreational areas, built picnic tables and installed siding on a primary building.

These acts of service by Tandus’ dedicated employees fit in well with the company’s goals of being good corporate citizens and environmental stewards.

And these projects will go a long way to making Dalton and Whitfield County become better communities in which to live.

Margaret Mead, the great anthropologist, once said, ‘Never question that a small group of committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’”

Thanks, Werner.

Bethany

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sustainability in Action: Mud, Cows, Fresh Water, Recycled Carpet

Up to His Boot Tops in Learning. What do mud, cows, fresh water and GeoHay recycled carpet have to do with each other? CRI’s Jeff Carrier explains.

Hi, I’m Jeff Carrier, and I guess you’d call me the go-to sustainability guy here at the Carpet and Rug Institute.   Here’s a nice story about a school project I helped with recently. CRI is proud of its role as a community based organization here in the North Georgia area.  Last year, I helped Shell Underwood and Jill Ryerson,  two teachers from North Whitfield Middle School, write a grant proposal for the Whitfield Education Foundation, and I am pleased to say we won!

Placing Geohay around the stream bank
Shell had given the grant the clever title, “STREAM Team”. “STREAM” stands for “Student and Teacher Realize the Environment Affects Everyone”. The overall scope of the project was to instruct the kids on the impacts of human activities- agriculture, recreation, pollution, litter, etc., upon our waterways. After months of searching, I located the perfect spot for the field study and obtained permission from the landowner to let us use it. I had chosen the site because it fit all my requirements -- it was in a flood plain, close to the school, near a busy road, and cattle had unrestricted access to the creek. In fact, the cattle were enjoying a nice dip the day I was out scouting the site!

One of the main objectives of the project was to install several rolls of GeoHay to help prevent siltation  and erosion of the stream bank along the Coahulla Creek. For those of you unfamiliar with GeoHay, it’s one of the most useful and interesting products on the market today. Made of reclaimed carpet fibers, GeoHay is an erosion control barrier that is far more effective than bales of hay and less expensive over its life than many other forms of erosion control. We were honored to have a couple of folks from GeoHay come help us install the rolls. Clay Hovarter and Kellyn Hargett were indispensable on the creek and worked really hard to show the kids more than just how to install the rolls. They gave the fifty kids a great idea of just how important the rolls were- not just for the stream bank, but also why the recycled content and landfill diversion attributes of the product are so important.

STREAM Team!
Jill Ryerson specializes in Language Arts and Social Sciences education and got, perhaps, the dirtiest assignment. She led the trash pickup mission and instructed the kids on how litter will eventually wind up in our oceans causing all manner of ills such as the mid-ocean garbage patches and contamination of our beaches and estuaries. The kids picked up and bagged enough trash to completely fill the bed of my pickup truck.

What would a stream restoration project be without doing some water testing? Shell Underwood teaches science and math to the kids and it was her task to lead the water testing. She helped the students test for such water quality issues as turbidity (cloudiness) and dissolved oxygen. Most impressively, she managed to fall into Coahulla Creek only once during the day!

I got the assignment of doing soil quality testing. Since this was an active agricultural site, we were interested to see the levels of nutrients in the soil. We tested for phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium. The kids learned that soil needs adequate levels of these nutrients in order to be productive but there is a catch -- too much of them can have adverse effects on the creek. Perhaps not surprisingly, we found that the soils along the creek were low in nitrogen and potassium but high in phosphorous. The kids theorized that the high phosphorous was due to the frequent deposits of cow manure (wink, wink).

What a great experience! I encourage each of you to adopt a class and assist in providing materials and support. I plan to keep working with Jill and Shell as long as they’ll keep me around. It’s the least I can do to support their critical mission of teaching our next generation the things they need to know to take care of our planet! The rewards are far greater than you can imagine.”

Jeff

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The 4 Step Carpet Maintenance Program

The 4 Step Carpet Maintenance Program

Four Steps to Keep Carpets Clean: Implementing a Carpet Maintenance Program

In his April 20, 2012 column titled "Implementing a carpet maintenance program" in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun offers advice on making carpets last longer and look better in our homes and offices.

If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the article says, then a four-step maintenance program is just what the doctor ordered for your carpets. The article quotes Jeff Bishop, administrator of Clean Care Seminars, who describes how small, but regular, cleaning is better than an occasional ‘Herculean” effort. 

“‘If you maintain and vacuum the carpet regularly, you’ll get the dry particle soils out,’ Bishop says. ‘If you can avoid soil buildup, you’ll avoid permanent stains.’

The first step in carpet maintenance is regular vacuuming, and ‘vacuuming daily is ideal,’ says Bishop, ‘even if the dirt isn’t yet visible to the naked eye.’

The second step is to conduct interim cleanings. Bishop recommends using minimal-moisture techniques to improve the appearance of the carpet between ‘restorative,’ otherwise known as extraction, cleanings.

The third step in a carpet maintenance program is “restoration,” which is basically deep cleaning using hot water or dry methods of extraction. This works best if it’s done regularly. At CRI, we recommend deep cleaning every 12 to 18 months.

The fourth step in your carpet maintenance program is to “think prevention.” Consider adding mats to heavily trafficked areas or add a scraper mat outside the entryway. You should also check your HVAC system regularly to make sure that it filters soils out of the air instead of letting them filter onto the carpet.

“Look at the building holistically,” says Bishop. ‘You can’t look at carpet without considering the other aspects of the building. Make sure that grounds are maintained and that you are conducting daily maintenance on your floorcovering to make it last longer.’”

Thanks, Werner.

Bethany

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2011 CARE Annual Report: Carpet Recycling Milestones

Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) in 2011: Carpet Recycling Rate Drops Slightly, Membership Soars, Many Milestones

The Carpet America Recovery Effort, or CARE as it is more commonly known, held its Annual Conference in San Diego in late April. This marked the ninth year the non-profit carpet recycling group has convened to survey past successes and plot a path forward.

The big news every year is always the presentation of the Annual Report. The 2011 CARE Annual Report showed that CARE members diverted 333 million pounds of carpet from the landfill in 2011, a decrease of approximately one percent versus 2010. In contrast, the non-profit carpet recycling group increased its membership to over 400, a 17 percent gain. Of the carpet diverted, 250 million pounds were recycled back into carpet and other consumer products. To date, CARE members have kept 2.3 billion pounds of waste carpet out of landfills since CARE was founded in 2002.

Other milestones for CARE in the past year:

• Development of a more accurate formula for calculating diversion and recycling rates based on actual carpet sales in the U.S.

• The CARE Board of Directors updated its mission, vision, and core values statements, as part of the process of completing the original MOU 2002 and moving onto CARE’s next chapter of growth.

• Creation of the CARE Certified Collectors Program. Launched at the 2011 Annual Meeting, there are currently 75 certified collectors listed on the CARE website.

• Creation of CARE Marketplace buying group offering significant discounts to CARE members on office supplies and equipment.

In addition, 2011 was the first year CARE served as the stewardship organization for California’s AB 2398 carpet recycling law. During the reporting period of July 1 through December 31, CARE reported that in California:

• 80 carpet manufacturers participated in the CARE Stewardship Plan

• 385 million pounds of post-consumer carpet were discarded; of that amount, 60 million pounds were diverted from landfill and 36 million pounds were recycled.

• The diversion rate for carpet was 15 percent, four percent higher than in 2010

• Qualified processors received $703,454 in payments

Even with the slight decline in carpet diversion, CARE Executive Director Georgina Sikorski said the results were excellent, especially in light of weaker demand for recycled material in both the U.S. and internationally. “CARE members continue to invest and expand their facilities in anticipation of future growth and demand for new products made with post-consumer recycled content.”

~ Bethany

Thursday, May 17, 2012

CARE Honors Carpet Recycling Innovators

CARE Honors Carpet Recycling Innovators


In his May 11, 2012 column titled CARE honors innovators in the Dalton Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun tells Dalton readers about two visionaries in carpet recycling who took the Person of the Year and Recycler of the Year awards at the recent Annual Meeting of the Carpet American Recovery Effort (CARE).  

Larry Cook, director of manufacturing initiatives with Beaulieu Group was named Person of the Year, and California-based recycler The Carpet Recyclers took the award for Recycler of the Year. 

The article also notes several significant milestones that have been reached since the carpet recycling group was formed in 2002.

• 333 million pounds of carpet wastes were diverted from landfills in 2011.

• CARE has diverted 2.3 billion pounds of waste carpet out of landfills since it was founded in 2002.

• 250 million pounds of diverted carpet were recycled back into carpet and other consumer products.

• The CARE Certified Collectors Program was launched in 2011, and there are now 75 certified collectors across the nation.

• The nonprofit carpet recycling group increased its membership to more than 400, a 17 percent gain.

The article continues,

“Larry Cook has been a steadfast supporter of CARE and CARE’s mission — the landfill diversion of carpet,” CARE Executive Director Georgina Sikorski told the conference attendees. “He is a generous volunteer who has given freely of his time and professional resources to help CARE take advantage of numerous strategic projects and opportunities.

The Carpet Recyclers got its start collecting carpet face fiber and then expanded in 2010 to include processing and recycling of the entire carpet such as backing, filler, etc.

To date, this company has created more than 100 green jobs and achieved a 90 percent processing rate. Its goal is to become zero-waste by 2013, and the company projects that it will process more than 70 million pounds of used carpet during the first year of operations in its new state-of-the-art facility, thereby saving more than seven million gallons of oil.

“As entrepreneurs and visionaries, The Carpet Recyclers invest time, people and finances to increase carpet recycling in California,” Sikorski said during the conference. “Because of entrepreneurs like The Carpet Recyclers and others in California, we are making progress in meeting AB 2398 goals to reduce carpet going into California landfills, and in creating new products for consumers.”

Thank you, Werner.

Bethany

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Unified Carpet Installation Standard from IICRC, CRI Working Together

A Unified Installation Standard is On the Way. CRI, IICRC Working Together on Carpet Installation, Inspection Standards

A series of three interviews that aired on the TalkFloor.com website flooring news website details cooperative initiatives between the Carpet and Rug Institute and the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration)

The first CRI & IICRC interview features comments from IICRC President Patrick Winters on recent changes to that organization, including the group’s decision to keep the name “The Clean Trust” as a service mark similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Currently, the IICRC is a standards development organization for ANSI, the American National Standards Institute and has plans to become an ANSI certification body, Winters said.

Part Two of the interview  features Lew Migliore with an update on the IICRC’s S800 comprehensive standard for carpet inspection, as well as a discussion on the progress towards completion of the ANSI/IICRC S600 carpet installation standard. According to Milli Washington, IICRC’s Standards Director, the reference guide is completed for both standards, and the process of pulling the standard requirements out of the larger reference documents has begun. She added that a period of public review and comment should begin by the end of the year and that the standard could be submitted to ANSI for review in early 2013.  CRI President Werner Braun praised the CRI’s efforts for doing much of “the heavy lifting” preparing for the unified installation standard.

In part three of the interviewWerner Braun says the group discussed some possible solutions to issues IICRC has voiced with the CRI’s Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning equipment and products, including the possibility of adding an oily component of the CRI’s  formula soil used in the testing, as well as how best to handle consumer or “do-it-yourself” cleaning equipment.

We invite you to watch all three interviews.

And, then, will you let us know what you think of these interviews? How do you see promoting to your customers the benefits of a unified installation standard?

~ Bethany

Friday, May 11, 2012

Carpet in the Workplace? Questions to Ask Yourself

Carpet in the Workplace? Questions to Ask Yourself

  
Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 24th in a series

"I'm Getting Ready to Carpet My New Office. Where Do I Start?" is the twenty-fourth in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. The banners ads contain great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new. Today's is about selecting carpet for an office environment.
Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #24: I'm Getting Ready to Carpet My New Office. Where Do I Start?

How do I know if my carpet will hold up to my workplace?

Before choosing which carpet to get, ask yourself some location-specific questions:
  • On a typical day, will there be spills and stains or dirt tracked into the building?
  • If so, what type of spills? Food stains? Coffee or chemical spills?
  • What will the frequency of spills be? Excessive? Occasional?
  • Do you need moisture impermeability?
  • Is there exposure to harsh chemicals, intense sunlight or atmospheric contaminants (such as nitrous oxides or ozone)?
  • Will there be lots of foot traffic? Wheelchairs? Supply carts?
Your carpet retailer is also a good source of information. Don’t be shy about asking questions. Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.
How do you answer consumers when they ask you where to start when considering carpet for the office? What resources do you use to help them?

Let me know in the comments!
~ Bethany

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Carpet Recycling Industry: Something From Nothing

Carpet Recycling Industry: Something From Nothing

Carpet Manufacturing, Carpet Recycling and George W. Bush: Great People and Industries Often Start with Nothing

In his May 4, 2012 column titled Something from nothing in the  Dalton Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun talked about his recent presentation to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries annual meeting in Las Vegas.

In the article, Mr. Braun describes how, to his surprise, he discovered that he was slated to speak immediately following the keynote address given by former U.S. president George W. Bush.  In what Mr. Braun jokingly called “my warm-up act,” President Bush commented that the people he admired most were the ones who started out life with nothing and end up with something. That phrase reminded Mr. Braun of his German immigrant parents, and of the pioneers who started the carpet industry in decades past. In more recent years, Mr. Braun observed that “something from nothing” is exactly what the carpet recycling industry has achieved. 

“The Depression-era Northwest Georgians who “started” the carpet industry began with nothing but an idea of making ends meet by tufting chenille bedspreads.  Little did they know that their innovations would form the backdrop for what is now a $13.5 billion a year industry.

 Another, more recent, example of ‘starting from nothing’ can be found in the creation of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE).  In 2002, there was no carpet recycling industry in the United States. All of the discarded carpet from homes and businesses was being taken to landfills.

But some forward thinkers from eight or 10 states came together and realized that diverting and recycling used carpet could provide great benefits to the environment while producing a profit for the collectors and processors who refined that discarded carpet into basic raw ingredients. That’s how CARE was founded.

And the carpet recycling industry is growing. Over the course of CARE’s first six years, about one billion pounds were saved from landfills, and during the next three years, another billion were saved. I predict that within one year to 18 months we’ll see the next billion pounds of recycled carpet being diverted and reused.

 CARE represents an industry that is alive and economically viable. And it’s another great example of starting with nothing and ending with something.”

Thank you, Werner.

Bethany

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CRI Intern Chersten Achary Learned about Carpet and More

CRI Intern Chersten Achary

Guest Blog Contributor: CRI Intern Chersten Achary Learned about Carpet and More at CRI

As a marketing major at Dalton State College,  I was very excited to learn that I had been accepted as the newest Marketing Intern at the Carpet and Rug Institute.

I started working in January 2012 and at first was unsure what to expect. I was delighted to find that my supervisor Bethany Richmond was a pleasure to work with and never failed to take an opportunity to teach me something new.

One of the first things I learned about The Carpet and Rug Institute, Inc. was CRI’s mission: “To position Carpet and Rug Institute as the source for science-based information on soft floor coverings.” I knew then that everything that I thought I knew about carpet was going to be challenged and that I was going to learn more than I ever anticipated.

On the first day of my internship things started out slow and I did small things around the office such as filing and sitting in on meetings. On my second day I helped Bethany compile a list of the newest Seal of Approval products and ready them for the CRI Newsline and when that was completed I got the opportunity to take the information and insert it into the Constant Contact online email newsletter platform. It was my first time using an email marketing system and it was absolutely one of my favorite tasks to take on at CRI.

I began noticing that I could connect my lectures at DSC to the real life experience that I was having by working at CRI. At first I was surprised that things that I previously learned about were actually happening and that the knowledge gained in class was useful in a real work environment. For example, companies do perform SWOT analyses;  they are not just classroom learning tools!

I think the main lesson that I learned at CRI was to always, always be aware of my audience. While working on blog articles, I found it was easy to get engrossed in the material and lose sight of who would be reading it. Bethany told me that one of the main points in writing something well is knowing the audience and never losing sight of them.

She told me something else towards the end of my internship that I will carry forward into my career: “Never lose sight of who you are working for – I promise you your employers never will.”

Thank you, CRI, for this enriching and inspiring experience.

Chersten Lynn Achery,
Dalton State College class of 2012

Good luck, Chersten – we’ll miss you around here.

Bethany

Thursday, May 3, 2012

CRI West Meeting: Jennifer Mendez Shares Highlights

Werner Braun at CRI West 2012
In spite of what the song says, (for those of you old enough to remember), it does rain sometimes in Southern California. It was one of those rare rainy southern California days that the Carpet and Rug Institute happened to choose for its annual CRI West meeting at the Irvine, California Marriott near Los Angeles.

The skies may have been cloudy, but the outlook was brighter indoors for CRI’s annual pilgrimage to Orange County.  Many people don’t realize that, outside of the North Georgia area (the Northwest Georgia city of Dalton is considered the carpet manufacturing capitol of the world), carpet manufacturers also have a significant presence in southern California. That being the case, it makes sense for the trade association that represents U.S. carpet manufacturers should make a trip to the “OC” every year to brief our West Coast members.

This year’s CRI West meeting drew a smaller representation of carpet companies than in years past. Even though the group wasn't mighty in size, it was mighty in interest! CRI President Werner Braun presented an update on CRI issues, using his usual casual and conversational presentation style.  As he wandered throughout the room, he outlined for attendees the changes that have occurred in CRI during the past year. He explained that although the staff had changed and there were organizational changes, CRI's mission remains the same...preventing and/or eliminating barriers to profitability and growth for CRI members.

As part of his talk, Werner explained the structure and reasons for the establishment of CRI’s new Strategic Issues Leadership Committee (SILC), saying the establishment of the SILC was the largest single improvement to the structure of CRI in a long time. He described the other new panels (Delesection Panel, Product Performance & Standards Panel and the EPR and CARE Panel) and the role each plays at CRI.

Other topics Werner covered were CRI's budget, implementation of AB2398 in CA, and the ongoing issue of California’s proposed limits on caprolactam. Werner's relaxed presentation style lent itself well to questions. Rather than a structured Q&A at the conclusion of his presentation, attendees chimed in throughout the morning with questions and comments. It was more of a dialogue than a presentation.

I was last on the agenda to brief the attendees on legislative issues as they relate to extended producer responsibility at the state level. I normally am happy to stand behind the podium, but Werner had set the casual tone so I opted to stand in the room and take a more relaxed approach as well. I gave some background on both framework  and carpet-specific legislation around the country and CRI's engagement in the process of defeating this type of legislation. (See related blog articles: CRI Lobbyist Educates Hill About Carpet Industry Issues, Washington State Carpet Recycling Proposes Makes Pay Cost and EPR Update from Carpet and Rug Institute's Mendez.)

This was my first opportunity to interact with our member manufacturers on the West Coast, such as Atlas Carpet Mills, Bentley Prince Street, Fabrica, Royalty, and Tuftex, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The crowd was full of inquiring minds who fully engaged in the discussion of the day. I encouraged our California members to become more involved with our panels. They can bring a lot of information to us and we can learn from one another.

I think the morning was valuable and worthwhile. I hope attendees feel the same way, because in spite of the fact that my visit to sunny California was rainy and wet, I’m looking forward to my return to Irvine in 2013.

Let me know if you have any questions on extended producer responsibility – I’d be happy to hear from you.

Jenn Mendez
CRI Vice President, Government Relations

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Carpet Maintenance Program for Commercial Facilities

Carpet Maintenance Program for Commercial Facilities: Carpet cleaning expert says floors just one element of a really clean building

One of my Carpet and Rug Institute co-workers recently sent me a great article about carpet maintenance for commercial buildings that appeared on the Buildings magazine website.

The article contained comments from two industry veterans, Fritz Rench, of Racine Industries and Jeff Bishop, who runs Clean Care Seminars.

Titled, How to Implement a Carpet Maintenance Program, the article begins, “Carpets normally perform an important service – they collect soils, allergens, bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants tracked into the building and keep them from becoming airborne. But when the carpet is too soiled, the opposite occurs, negatively affecting IEQ.”  Fritz Rench describes it this way, “Carpet tends to trap and hide soil where it occurs. The soil-hiding capability fools facility managers and the custodial staff. They don't see it, but it’s building up.”

The article breaks carpet care down into four main steps: 

1. Stay current with maintenance: regular vacuuming is the single most important step in keeping carpets clean.

2. Conduct interim cleanings: Absorbent compounds, dry foams, encapsulations, light shampooing, and soil transfer extraction improve the carpet’s appearance when it’s not soiled enough to need a deeper cleaning.

3. Restoration Cleaning: Restorative cleaning frequently involves extraction (hot water or dry) and may also incorporate some components of lighter cleaning, such as chemicals that break up or bind to carpet soils. This process not only improves the carpet's appearance, it also improves the indoor environment and makes the facility a healthier place to work.

4. Prevention: door mats inside and scraper mats outside entryways, daily maintenance both inside and outside the building, plus – and this is very important – an efficient and well-maintained HVAC system.

Of course, prevention is the way to go, but in the real world that doesn’t always happen. But even very dirty carpets can come clean. [See Jet Stream Grill CRI SOA Success Part I and Jet Stream Grill CRI SOA Success Part II.] 

Here’s Jeff Bishop’s plan for restoring a heavily soiled carpet.

“If the carpet is extremely dirty, you may still be able to salvage it, Bishop says. Try his four-part process to conquer heavy soiling:

a. Go over the area using an upright vacuum with brush agitation.

b. Suspend the soil by first pre-spraying traffic areas using a preconditioner with a pH of 10 or less. Scrub the area with cylindrical brush agitation to ensure that the ground-in soil is suspended in the cleaning chemical, then let it sit for 20-30 minutes. “Suspension takes time,“ Bishop explains. “It’s a cleaning wand, not a magic wand.“ If necessary, repeat with dual-brush agitation.

c. Rinse away suspended soil with multiple-pass hot water extraction, using an extractor other than a walk-behind or pull-back unit.

d. Force-dry the carpet with air movers and put out safety signs until the carpet is dry.”

The Carpet and Rug Institute tests and certifies commercial as well as residential products for carpet cleaning. Find a spot remover, pet stain and odor remover, vacuum, or professional cleaner on the CRI website.

Do you have a commercial facility carpet maintenance program in place?

Bethany
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