The Newest Carpet Reclamation Partnership

The StarNet/CARE Carpet Reclamation Program, officially launched in January of this year, is a partnership in which both involved organizations truly bring equal contributions to a functioning, successful venture. Dr. Robert Peoples, Executive Director of CARE and Fred Williamson, Director of Special Projects for the contract dealer co-op StarNet, discuss their joint reclamation project. The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) is built on a working, cooperative relationship between carpet and fiber manufacturers, the Carpet & Rug Institute, state and federal government agencies and non-governmental organizations. This non-profit’s stated objective is to divert 40% of the five billion pounds of post-consumer carpet annually deposited in our nation’s landfills by the year 2012. CARE plans to accomplish this goal by enhancing the collection infrastructure for post-consumer carpet and helping to develop market outlets for products containing post-consumer carpet. While serving as a resource for business, product and market development opportunities, CARE seeks and facilitates funding and support for endeavors that embrace the national carpet recovery goals. It is literally at the forefront of building a new industry from the “floor up.” StarNet Commercial Flooring Cooperative is a growing North American organization of 151 Member firms that operate from over 240 service locations. Members share industry “best practices” and their professional skills to enhance the value they bring to every client relationship. As the largest group of select independent commercial flooring contractors, every StarNet Member must agree to abide by a strict business “Code of Ethics.” One of the stated requirements of membership is to protect and respect the environment while delivering quality, value and exceptional service to its clientele. StarNet has established an Environmental Issues Committee to support this initiative. It urges the membership to use products manufactured with recycled content and employ environmentally focused solutions to industry issues. An Environmental Achievement Award has recently been added to the annual StarNet Commercial Flooring Design Awards for the year 2006. In 2005 StarNet initially reached out to CARE to learn more about its CARE goals and to seek a potential solution to very negative StarNet client reactions to the rapidly escalating cost to dispose of carpet that is removed from their commercial projects. The number of available landfills was declining and the fuel costs incurred to haul to distant landfills was spiraling. In addition, fees were increasing at those landfills that would still receive post consumer carpet. At its first attendance at a CARE Conference in May 2005, StarNet found a positive, “can do” atmosphere in which all participants were interested in the collective goals and respected the specific individual issues of all present. As a direct result of this positive experience, StarNet became a member and sponsor of CARE. Working closely with the leadership of CARE, StarNet began to build relationships with CARE members engaged in the collection, sorting and consolidation of post consumer carpet. By creating a network of local area sites StarNet members are able to offer landfill diversion to their clients at costs that are neutral to standard carpet disposal costs. More importantly, StarNet Members now offer their clients the opportunity to “do the right thing” for the environment. A “StarNet/CARE Reclamation Certificate” is issued to the involved end-user to commend their actions and to quantitatively record their commitment to improving planet Earth.

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