Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the Road for Carpet Recycling Conferences

Carpet and Rug Institute, Carpet America Recovery Effort representatives attend recycling conferences

Carpet 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 ToyotaGoodwill Industries, Hilton, and Fortune Magazine, as well as speakers from organizations whose names I was not as familiar with - Eco HatcherySurf 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 Chain

The 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 InterfaceRuss 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.

~ Bethany

Thursday, July 26, 2012

CRI, IICRC, and the Future of Seal of Approval Carpet Cleaning

CRI, IICRC, and the Future of Seal of Approval Carpet Cleaning
(See related blog post Unified Carpet Installation Standard from IICRC, CRI Working Together.)

In his June 15, 2012 column titled IICRC and CRI for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses the carpet industry trade group’s plans to work with the Institute for Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC)  on potential changes to CRI’s Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning products and equipment

According to Mr. Braun, the two groups’ aim is to address issues in ways that may benefit both organizations in the long run.

“One such issue concerns the oily component in our test soil. We’ve known for some time that oil that gets on carpet can have a dramatic impact on how well a deep-cleaning system can actually work. And, of course, all oils are not alike. How well an oil can be treated and removed depends a lot on whether it consists of an organic or inorganic compound.

 So the IICRC team is planning to work with us on resolving that issue, helping us identify which treatment will work best on particular types of oils, thus providing the marketplace with better deep-cleaning systems.

 Another issue which we plan to tackle together has to do with equality in the Seal of Approval program deep-cleaning systems. Not all systems are equal, and what differentiates them is both their ability to remove soil and their productivity numbers. We’re forming a task group with IICRC to look at how we can appropriately adjust for the productivity rate so that people will understand when and where to use certain deep-cleaning programs.

 These steps will, of course, be helpful to the consumer. Our goal and the goal of the IICRC is to have a happier consumer — happier with their cleaning experience, and ultimately happier with their carpet.”

Thank you, Werner.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Carpet Cleaner Talks Cleaning, Indoor Air, Allergens

Carpet Cleaner Talks Cleaning, Indoor Air, Allergens

Carpet Cleaner Tells it Like It Is on Carpet, Cleaning, Indoor Air, and Allergens

As I’ve said several times on this blog, some of the best input I get about carpet comes from carpet cleaners.

In this instance, Jay Jetty, with Carpet Cleaning Las Vegas left this comment on a blog post about  carpet and indoor air quality – specifically, carpet’s mistaken connection to increased asthma and allergy symptoms. Since comments are not always visible on the blog, I decided to bring Jay’s comments out for a closer look. I like his common-sense approach. 

“I find it amazing that intelligent, intuitive, well educated people continue to propagate this myth! (That carpet causes asthma and allergies) I am certain some if it is unintentional. Some of this propagation is due to the fact that no one has ever told most consumers that all textiles need to be cleaned.

I have incorporated the statement into my marketing message. ‘All carpet should be cleaned at least once a year whether it looks like it needs to be cleaned or not, to reduce dust, allergens, pet dander and insect droppings.’ 

This statement seems to be a real eye-opener for most people. And it is one that everyone in the flooring industry should embrace.”

Jay Jetty

Another commenter replied:

“Sorry to disagree, but it's pretty well known that carpets are a source of allergens. Almost all doctors recommend the removal of carpets in people who are asthmatic, although it is known that the worst areas are the bedding.”

Here is Jay’s response: 

"’Carpets are a source of allergens’

…to say that carpets are the source is like saying clothing is a source of allergens and should not be worn.

Mold, cat saliva, dog dander, cockroach and dust mite droppings, and pollen are part of a very long list of potential ‘sources of allergens’. Not nylon, acrylic, or polypropylene.

I do agree that most doctors will recommend removing carpet from patients’ homes that have respiratory issues. They will also recommend thoroughly washing their clothing, body and hair after coming into contact with allergens.

So if we use a little deductive reasoning we can come to the conclusion [that] if it is ok to wear clothes and have hair, it is probably ok to have carpet in your home or place of work.

Allergen molecules and odor molecules are roughly the same size. And I have never heard anyone say not to clean your carpet if it smells bad. So if we can clean carpets and remove odors then it stands to reason that steam cleaning will remove allergens too.

Now I am not belittling what an MD must accomplish to become an MD. But no doctor I have ever cleaned for has ever given me advice on how to do my job. It is all about specialized knowledge. And in 20 years I have picked up a few pieces of specialized knowledge that most MDs know nothing of.

Plus I have pretty severe seasonal allergies and I have experienced times when I come home and sit in my recliner and start to feel the itching and burning in my eyes and sinus cavities. The next day I steam cleaned my recliner and voila!... no more allergic reactions!

This was meant in the spirit of helpful good advice and I hope it was received that way. And I hope you try cleaning as a means of controlling allergens for yourself. In fact perhaps you know a person who has severe allergies who you can do some cleaning for. If so offer to clean their upholstery, mattress and carpet for them once for free. And then see for yourself if what I have said is true.
Best of luck out there!”

April 9, 2012 11:07 AM

Who else has found that consumers are surprised to learn their carpets need to be cleaned? Let me know in the comments.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

ANSI/NSF 140 Carpet Sustainability Standard is “True Green”

ANSI/NSF 140 Carpet Sustainability Standard is “True Green”
At a time when environmental standards and other so-called “green guides” seem to be popping out of the woodwork, the carpet industry can stand behind a sustainability standard that really means something.

In his June 22, 2012 column titled "Going green" in the Dalton Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun talks about the carpet industry’s ANSI/NSF 140 Carpet Sustainability Standard.  He cautions that, while “going green” is a great goal for every organization, consumers need to be vary of green standards that represent “vested interests”

For example, one organization might view products as sustainable or “green” if the product contained a large amount of recycled content, say 50 percent or more. But another organization might vaunt the fact that a product was “green” because the manufacturing process they used resulted in a small environmental footprint, conserving resources such as water and electricity in production.

 Some…green guides were produced by people in business whose goal was to make money, and some were produced by organizations that had vested interests in particular areas. But the bottom line was there were no common standards for what was “green” and what wasn’t.

 Fortunately, our Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Board of Directors had the insight to promote the development of a consensus standard to assess the sustainability of carpet products.

 We got together with the National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF) to develop a carpet sustainability assessment standard. Our desire was to accomplish this under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ”

Representatives from carpet mills, leaders from state and federal government, architectural designers and academic professionals participated in the standard-setting process.

“This combination of representatives helped ensure that one interest could not dominate the group. It became a truly consensus-driven process which has resulted in a very fair and equitable standard for all.

We refer to this standard as NSF/ANSI-140, which is shorthand for ANSI’s Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard. It’s a good example of how you can take multiple standards and, through a thorough consensus process, get rid of the confusion that can flood the marketplace.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Carpet Trends: What’s Hot Now in Carpet Design

Floor Trends - Carpet Trends: What’s Hot Now in Carpet Design

Exciting, comfortable, smart. Carpet designers discuss everything carpet has to offer at home.

What’s exciting about carpet design today? What is driving customers to choose carpet for their homes? A recent article in the floor covering trade publication, Floor Trends (formerly National Floor Trends) surveys three prominent carpet designers for their views on what is influencing the tastes and preferences of the residential floor covering customer.

Titled, “Reading the Tea Leaves: Style Drivers in the Residential Carpet Market”, the article features interviews with three carpet “design heavyweights” from Carpet and Rug Institute member companies:
The article begins with a discussion of color, noting that, while beige and other neutrals will likely never lose prominence in carpet color palettes, consumers are looking to add a little brightness to their lives, and see carpet as a great way to relieve their so-called “frugal fatigue” acquired after years of tight budgets and subdued color offerings from manufacturers.

The designers go on to say that carpet’s comfort and energy-use benefits appeal to Americans, who are spending more time at home. They cite the CRI as an excellent source of information to explain that carpet is often mistakenly linked to increased asthma and allergy symptoms. (See related blog articles: Asthma, Allergies, Carpet and Flooring: Advice From Carpet Cleaner, No Beef To Carpet Increasing Asthma, Allergy and Indoor Air Quality: Hard Surface vs. Carpet.)

The article is an interesting read, particularly in the sections that describe the designers’ sources of inspiration – fascinating – everything from shibori and ikat textiles (I had to Google those references) to vintage and high-tech influences.

Let me know what you find most fascinating about this article!
~ Bethany

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Carpet and Rug Institute Moves Downtown!

Carpet and Rug Institute Moves Downtown!
CRI employees gather on the front steps
of their new offices at 100 South Hamilton
Street in Dalton.

Moving Day for the Carpet and Rug Institute: CRI moves downtown

In Dalton, Georgia, the defacto “Carpet Capital of the World”, The Carpet and Rug Institute has moved away from the distinctive headquarters building it had occupied since 1972 and relocated to an historic building in Dalton’s scenic downtown area.

The carpet industry trade group’s move is the subject of CRI President Werner Braun’s  June 29, 2012 column titled CRI Moves Downtown for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen.

“We’re actually occupying one half of the old historic U.S. Post Office building that was completed back in 1909 and which most recently housed the Dalton Public Schools administration offices. Now we’re sharing the three-story office building with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, which has also recently changed its address to Hamilton Street. Their staff makes great neighbors, by the way. It’s a pleasant change.”

“I, for one, really appreciate the history associated with this building. It was designed by James Knox Taylor, who was the supervising architect for the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C. It’s quite beautiful, and was constructed in classic Georgian style. It served as a post office until 1965 and then as the headquarters for the DPS until they relocated to City Hall a number of years ago. The city has done an incredible job restoring this Dalton city landmark.  

The space here is much more conducive for doing business. It’s much more compact. My secretary’s office is just two steps from my office door, and her assistant’s is just four steps down from hers. Our communications team is grouped together on the third floor, and our technical team is housed on the garden level. So it provides a great deal of efficiencies in terms of conducting business.

And then there’s the plus of being downtown itself. I’m loving the fact that I can walk out the door and within minutes be at any of a dozen or so restaurants without having to get in my car.”

Thank you, Werner!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How To Choose the Right Entryway Mat

How To Choose the Right Entryway Mat

Keeping Floors Clean, Safe Means Taking It to The Entrance Mat

Whether you need to clean a closet or a coliseum, the internet offers a wealth of information at your fingertips. Here are several good articles I found recently that help homeowners and facility managers find the best fit in entryway mats.

An article titled, “Choosing the Right Entry Mat” from the Floor Covering Installer magazine website says commercial facilities managers must first be sure they are choosing mats of adequate size: 12 to 15 feet for an office building, or up to 20 or 25 feet for a grocery store or hospital to ensure soil is trapped and floors are kept safe.

Along with the size, it is important to:

Evaluate the level of foot traffic entering your facility. Different mats are designed for different traffic loads.

Select mats that are facility specific. Matting for an industrial facility might not necessarily be appropriate for an office building.

Consider climate conditions. Different mats may need to be installed in order to deal with varying climate conditions.

Be aware that entry matting works best when used as a system. Scraper mats should be placed directly outside the building; wiper/scraper mats placed in the entry or vestibule area; and wiper mats inside the building to trap any remaining soils on shoe bottoms.

Finally, the article says facility managers need to monitor the wear patterns on entrance mats. Excessive wear in one area may indicate the mats are not large enough. In general, the article states that, when considering entryway mats, more is usually better

An article on CleanLink cleaning industry information resource titled, “Experts Answer Common Matting Questions” explains how to choose and maintain entrance mats and more. The article explains that mats serve more uses now than in years past. The article features industry expert JoAnne Boston, business development head at Crown Mats [also see Selecting Proper Entryway Matting.] 

“Q. What are some of these new roles?

 One key role is to help minimize worker fatigue. Prolonged standing can cause fatigue, harm worker morale, decrease worker productivity, have health consequences and increase the chances for mistakes…even slips and falls. Antifatigue matting helps prevent these problems.

 Q. What is a high-performance matting system?

 A high-performance mat is a higher-quality mat purchased (not rented) by a facility and will invariably have a much longer warranty than a rental mat. Rental mats may be warrantied for only a few months. High-performance mats, on the other hand, may be warrantied for one to several years, making them not only more effective but more cost effective as well.
 Q. Do you have any tips on selecting matting?

 Higher-quality matting is typically purchased from a distributor. Because matting and green cleaning are so closely interconnected, a distributor knowledgeable about green cleaning will likely realize the value of matting and help managers select the matting that best meets their needs.”

Facility manager, mat manufacturers, and others: what would you add to this?


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wishing You Happy July 4th!

Happy 4th of July to all CRI Blog readers!

May everyone give thanks for the blessings of freedom and celebrate from sea to shining sea!

From the staff of the Carpet and Rug Institute and the Carpet America Recovery Effort –

Anthony, Bethany, Jeff, Jennifer, Joy, Linda, Louise, Pat H., Pat J., Ryan, Susan, and Werner

Image credit:
The Great American Adventure: Exploring the United Stated of America, From Sea to Shining Sea -A WebQuest for Fifth Grade Social Studies Designed by Darrin T. Butland
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