America’s first carpet recycling facility hopes to recycle 36 million pounds of old carpets annually
In the US alone, around 3.5 billion pounds of carpets are trashed annually, most of which end up in landfills or are incinerated. A meager 2-3% of the discarded carpets actually get recycled.
Now Aquafil, an Italian nylon fiber manufacturer, is hoping to change that situation by opening its first carpet recycling facility in the country in Phoenix, Arizona, that is capable of turning 36 million pounds of old carpets into raw material annually.
At the 116,000 square feet building, old carpets are broken down into three main components –
- polypropylene destined for the injection molding industry,
- calcium carbonate for road construction or concrete, and
- Nylon 6 that will go into the company’s Econyl regeneration process to create new products.
“In a circular economy industry, we should manufacture everything with the end in mind,” Giulio Bonazzi, Aquafil’s CEO, said at the opening ceremony for the Phoenix facility last month.