Carpet and Rug Institute, Carpet America Recovery Effort representatives attend recycling conferencesCarpet recycling and its importance in the larger discussion of recycling and waste reduction is a topic of interest for the Carpet and Rug Institute. In recent weeks, representatives from CRI member companies and CRI staff have attended two meetings on recycling and waste reduction. Both meetings were hosted by non-government organizations interested in promoting recycling in their communities and elsewhere.
Here are two accounts; first, from CRI Vice-President Jennifer Mendez on her trip to the Zero Waste Business Council's Annual Conference in Costa Mesa, California; and second from three CARE Board Members attending In the Loop: The NW Carpet Recycling Value Chain in Kent, Washington.
Carpet Recycling and The Zero Waste Business Council's Annual Conference“It’s an interesting concept, the idea of living in a world where we create little-to-no waste.
The Zero Waste Business Council's Annual Conference kicked off with an opening presentation by Stephanie Barger, the group’s Executive Director. She was excited to see the level of attendance. She stated that she didn't want to call the gathering a conference, but rather a movement.
The program included a wide range of speakers, from well-recognized businesses such as Toyota, Goodwill Industries, Hilton, and Fortune Magazine, as well as speakers from organizations whose names I was not as familiar with - Eco Hatchery, Surf Rider and As You Sow, for example. Many of the speakers’ presentations can be found on the Zero Waste Business Council's web site.
As you may imagine, many of the people attending the conference were very passionate about this issue, particularly the conference organizers. My intent in attending was not to determine if CRI's members should attempt to be zero-waste businesses, but rather to see if carpet was mentioned at all (especially given the passage and implementation of CA AB 2398). I attended only one session where carpet was mentioned, and that was in a positive light with regard to recycling.
I feel the theory of zero waste has merit - I'm just not sure I have the discipline to keep the amount of waste I generate in the course of a year equal to the amount that will fit in a coffee can, as one attendee said she had”.
Carpet Recycling and In the Loop: The NW Carpet Recycling Value ChainThe second meeting, which was titled, In the Loop: The NW Carpet Recycling Value Chain, was hosted by Pacific NW Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA) and Washington Recycles Every Day (WRED). The event, which was held in Kent, Washington, near Seattle, was attended by three CARE Board members: Eric Nelson of Interface, Russ DeLozier of J&J Industries, and Jim Lindsey of Aquafil.
The group reported that, of the 120 registered attendees, about 13 came from the carpet manufacturing industry. Several carpet recycling industry participants were also there, as well as several local and state officials.
The meeting was coordinated by Seattle Public Utilities’ Shirli Axelrod and Kris Beatty.
CARE, several carpet mills and carpet recyclers had exhibits offering information on carpet recycling. Several carpet recyclers are opening facilities in the Seattle area.
The CARE group reported that attendees were very engaged in the discussions and asked informed questions about the carpet industry, and carpet construction.
CARE was part of the conversation at this meeting, and looks forward to being part of the conversations going forward.