Tag Archives: carpet

No landfill for convention center’s old carpet | Finance & Commerce

No landfill for convention center’s old carpet

Workers remove carpet tiles from the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Ave. S., as part of a renovation project. The tiles are available for purchase at Habitat for Humanity ReStores in Willmar and Mankato. (Submitted photo)

The tiles will be available for purchase at Habitat for Humanity ReStores in Willmar and Mankato, said Nathan Benjamin, who heads up the Kansas City-based firm’s new Global Reuse Services operation.

About four semi-truck loads of the tiles have been taken out of the building for new uses, Benjamin said. It’s a big deal, because cushion-backed carpet tiles like those can’t be recycled, he said.

via No landfill for convention center’s old carpet | Finance & Commerce.

Desso upcycles 20,000 tonnes of chalk from water companies in new Cradle to Cradle initiative

Desso is collaborating with Reststoffenunie, an association of drinking water companies in the Netherlands, to upcycle re-engineered calcium carbonate (chalk) from local drinking water companies such as Brabant Water and WML (Water Maatschappij Limburg). The chalk is positively defined in accordance with C2C criteria and is used for the production of Desso’s carpet tiles with EcoBase backing, which is C2C Silver certified and 100% recyclable in Desso’s own production process.

via Desso upcycles 20,000 tonnes of chalk from water companies in new Cradle to Cradle initiative.

PDX Carpet Ride – by Sara Badiali

I work in the building material reuse industry. I research, write, and speak about reclaiming building materials as viable products,

Sara badialiinstead of garbage destined for landfills. I am often on the receiving end of frantic correspondence from people who want me to save a beautiful old house that is being demolished, or a garage made of pristine pre WWII wood that is being knocked down. These days I get a lot of contact with all the development racing through Portland. There is very little I can do on short notice, and often all I can offer is a sympathetic ear and some resources for them for next time (and there is always a next time).

I was recently contacted about a material for reuse.  The Port of Portland is going to replace the carpet in the entire Portland Airport.  This individual wanted to know if I could help her find people who would reuse it.  I explained to her that carpet is one of the materials that is hardest to find a new home, mostly because of the wear, and the “ick” factor.  It is hard to even find recycling outlets for carpet because of things like the adhesives used in installation. Normally I wouldn’t have given it a thought, but I am an avid participant in the online community Reddit.

PDX Carpet

The Portland Reddit (Preddit) is active, and as you can imagine, seriously opinionated.  Along with a certain generation of folks inquiring about advice for moving to Portland, the carpet at PDX is a regular topic.  The posts are full of love for PDX and especially the carpet. There are people who are enamored of the teal and maroon pixilated box design.  In true Portland fashion, the color and pattern have been made into designs for t-shirts.  There is even a woman with a tattoo of the pixilated maroon box design. I know this because another woman posted on her intention to copy the design, and wanted to know if she should have it done smaller on her shoulder.

In almost a decade of working with reclaimed building materials, the one thing emerges as universal is that people are emotionally connected to materials.  I decided to create my own post on Reddit to see if people would want a piece of the actual PDX carpet itself. Among the typical Preddit snarkiness, there emerged a group of interested folks along with a general alarm for the replacement of the carpet.  Never underestimate the sentiment between humans and their surroundings. The Portland Airport is a hub of emotional energy; people leaving loved ones, people returning home, peoples anticipation of adventure, and people departing with memories.  PDX is awash in feelings, and for the last thirty years the carpet has been literally underfoot absorbing it all.

There is approximately six acres of carpet in the Portland Airport.  If we found enough people interested in reusing the parts that are not bio-hazardous, we wouldn’t even make a dent in the scope of this waste.  One would hope that it could be recycled, but my contact told me it is glued directly to the concrete.  That radically reduces the chances of recycling it.  If it doesn’t come up well, it reduces the opportunities for reuse too.

The current generation of creatives are doing well carving a niche for themselves by reusing materials.  Projects that have used reclaimed carpets are tiny homes, vehicle conversions, boats, art installations, welcome mats, and animal shelters among others.  Harry Eggink, an architecture professor at Ball State University recently commented that his students need to be taught how to design with mass amounts of salvageable materials. He was referring to the acres of airplanes and choppers rotting in the Tucson, Arizona aeronautical boneyard. He stated “This is the kind of project that is of their generation. These are issues that they’re going to be facing.”[1]  In my experience, we are facing them now.

Luckily we still have room in our landfills to grind up and pitch six acres of carpet.  But a consequence of all that un-recycled material rotting in our landfills is increased co2 emissions, and our climate is reacting accordingly.  In Portland we have a generation of people who are emotionally bonded with the carpet in the airport.  As weird as that sounds, it’s no weirder than not giving them the chance to do something with it.

Reclamation of the PDX carpet is a big project.  It’s more of an event, and needs to be organized like one. Complete with press releases and follow up on the projects that develop from the salvaged material.  The first step is to find out if the Portland Reddit is an accurate depiction of the rest of Portland’s love of the PDX carpet.

Portland, are you up for salvaging an iconic, albeit unusual piece of your world? If so will you promise to use it in creative and unique ways which inspire others?

For inquiries and how to help please contact the Port of Portland

[1] (http://earth911.com/tech/ball-state-university-aero-architecture/)

Waiting for Take-Back Programs for Building Materials – EBN: 22:11

Among building products, carpet rules the EPR game

Interface, the largest producer of modular carpet in the world, says it has reclaimed more than 220 million pounds of carpet since 1994 through its “ReEntry” take-back program. “Carpet retains its value, so from the very beginning, throwing it into a landfill didn’t make any sense,” according to Eric Nelson, Interface’s vice president of strategic alliances. The company accepts any brand of carpet, whether the owner is buying new carpet from Interface or not. Its facility focuses on recycling backing, but it has also moved into recovering nylon fiber—sending any materials that do not work well with its remanufacturing process to other facilities it partners with.

The company benefits by being less dependent on unstable prices of the raw material used to make carpet—oil. “We know that recycling used carpet into new products brings us cost savings by distancing us from the cost-volatility of petroleum,” Nelson told EBN. “49% of our global footprint is now non-virgin petroleum-based.”

Other take-back programs, such as the one at Milliken & Company, promise that if carpet can’t be recycled, it will be donated to charity or incinerated at a waste-to-energy facility. Tandus even offers financial incentives for vinyl-backed carpet.

What about other building materials?

Gaining traction and realizing cost savings have been more difficult for other building product manufacturers. CertainTeed, for example, has take-back programs for its vinyl siding, roofing shingles, and ceiling panels, but “logistics” make the programs cost neutral for the company, marketing manager Brian Kirn told EBN. “The re-manufacturing process is a no-brainer. It’s getting enough participation that’s the challenging part.” In the case of vinyl siding, contractors have to be willing to place a dedicated dumpster on the jobsite, and although they avoid paying a fee for landfill disposal, they incur costs in transportation that have to be justified by volume.

via Waiting for Take-Back Programs for Building Materials – EBN: 22:11.