Recycling statistics ticked upward when companies such as Interface Inc., Atlanta, Ga., developed technology to separate carpet yarn from backing and reuse both as raw material for new products. Now the modular flooring division of the company, InterfaceFLOR, Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands, plans to close the lifecycle loop with ReEntry 2.0, a process that recovers every component of carpet tiles, all of which can be made into new carpet tiles. This includes recycling nylon yarn, the most carbon-intensive part of the carpet.
Materials recycled through ReEntry 2.0 require four times less energy to process than virgin material. The process could divert more than 2,700 tons of oil-intensive material from disposal each year. “In Europe alone, it is estimated that nearly 30 million square meters of carpet tiles could be sent to a landfill or incinerated in 2011,” says Ton van Keken, senior vice president of operations. “This is a waste of valuable resources.” InterfaceFLOR’s Mission Zero pledge commits the company to eliminate its global environmental impacts and reach zero waste by 2020. InterfaceFLOR’s product take-back recycling program has diverted 91,000 tons of carpet from landfills or incinerators since 1995, its Scherpenzeel facility uses 100 percent renewable energy, and it is an industry leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.