CARE Releases 2017 Annual Report

Orlando, FL, May 10, 2018-The 2017 Annual Report, released this week by the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), reports that CARE members diverted more than 394 million pounds of carpet from U.S. landfills in 2017, down 19% from 2016.

Of the carpet diverted to recycling, 180 million pounds were recycled into carpet and other consumer products, 107 million pounds were sent back to the landfill, and 90 million pounds were sent to waste-to-energy facilities and cement kilns. 2017 was another challenging year for CARE in terms of marketplace activity and demand for various fiber types.

CARE began using a mass balance approach in 2013 and this methodology focuses material flows by examining inputs and outputs in each step of the recycling process. CARE continues to refine its survey methodology.

Eighty-one percent of recycled post-consumer carpet is manufactured into plastics. This category has grown over the past few years. The amount of material recycled in carpet fiber increased one percentage point, from 3% in 2016 to 4% in 2017. Carpet backing fell to 3% of end products manufactured, down from 8% in 2016. Seven percent of recycled post-consumer carpet that was recycled went into new carpet. This is considered a true cradle-to-cradle process.

Per the report, carpet recycling employed 997 people in 2017. This is a decrease of 22% versus the jobs reported in 2016. Results from 2017 were presented at the 16th Annual CARE Conference by Dr. Robert Peoples on May 9 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

To date, CARE members have kept over five billion pounds of waste carpet out of landfills since CARE was founded in 2002.