Carpet maker Shaw Industries Group Inc. has opened a carpet recycling facility in Ringgold, Ga., at a cost of more than $20 million.
The Dalton, Ga.-based Shaw said the Evergreen Ringgold facility can recycle nylon and polyester fiber. Shaw will close its Evergreen facility in Augusta, Ga., Aug. 1 as the new technology at the Ringgold location better meets current and future market needs, according to a news release.
The Ringgold facility will employ at least 70 as it reaches full capacity.
“Evergreen Ringgold represents a significant step forward and is enhanced by what we’ve learned over the past decade at Evergreen Augusta–and from our strong working relationships with post-consumer carpet collectors throughout the country,” said Vance Bell, Shaw chairman and CEO. “Evergreen Augusta served Shaw and our industry well. Evergreen Ringgold enhances the long-term impact we can have, including the ability to recycle a wider array of materials.”
The new Ringgold recycling facility is located in what was previously a rug distribution center for Shaw. Operating since May, the facility has created recycling opportunities in previously untapped markets.
DSM Chemicals North America LLC operated the Evergreen Augusta facility. Shaw will work with two plant employees to find other opportunities within the company. As a joint venture partner with DSM Chemicals North America LLC in the operation of Georgia Monomers Company LLC, Shaw said it remains committed to the relationship and the production of raw materials at the Augusta site.
Shaw has reclaimed and recycled more than 800 million pounds of post-consumer carpet since 2006. During that time, Shaw has introduced a range of products and processes to support customers’ sustainability efforts.
Evergreen Ringgold creates a high-purity post-consumer recycled material that can be used in a broad range of applications. Joining the company’s elutriation (particle separation), carpet-to-energy and waste-to-energy processes, Evergreen Ringgold expands Shaw’s range of recycling solutions.
“We will continue to invest in new sustainability innovations to support our robust reclamation and recycling program,” said Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs at Shaw. “That includes maintaining our steadfast focus on designing with the end in mind and finding the best possible solutions for carpet already in the marketplace.“
Carpet has gotten more attention as material that needs an increase in its recycling rate. In January the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) agreed to increase funding for its carpet recycling product stewardship plan to bolster carpet recycling in the state. CalRecycle allowed the Carpet America Recovery Effort, or CARE, the administrator of the state’s carpet stewardship program, to increase incentive payments.
But carpet recycling has struggled. The CalRecycle decision came in response to the fact that the state carpet recycling rate has not exceeded 13 percent, although the goal is 16 percent by 2016 and 24 percent by 2020.
Last August CARE reported that overall in the United States carpet diverted from landfills increased to 14 percent in 2013 from 10 percent in 2012, but carpet actually recycled fell to 5 percent from 8 percent.