Leigh Fibers has established a dedicated business unit to divert discarded carpet and plastic from landfills and turn it into fibers and densified product used by plastics molders. Current and near-term equipment installations will give Leigh Carpet & Plastics Recycling LLC the capacity to keep more than 100 million pounds a year of used carpet out of landfills, which would increase the volume currently diverted in the United States by about one-third.
“Every ton of carpet we can recycle saves 198 gallons of oil and prevents the emission of two metric tons of greenhouse gases,” said George Martin, executive vice president of marketing and sales for Leigh Fibers. “Our goal is to reduce the nearly 3.5 million pounds of post-consumer carpet waste that goes into landfills each year, while giving customers the high-quality materials they need to mold new products.”
The new venture is already reprocessing the most common carpet fibers—Nylon 6, Nylon 6.6, polypropylene, and polyester—at a one-million-square-foot facility in South Carolina operated by its parent company. Leigh Fibers has long been one of the world’s leading processors of textile waste and fiber by-products, providing standard and custom products to meet demanding specifications in many different markets, including automotive, construction, erosion control, home furnishings, nonwovens and others.