We are all familiar with the phrase, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” It seems easy and simple enough – but can a single act truly make a difference? We have seen that the power of just one reclamation project can indeed make an exponential impact.
Earlier this year, a 20,000-square-foot installation of Milliken carpet in the Minneapolis Convention Center was replaced. With the help of Burns & McDonnell, the used carpet tiles were sent to Habitat for Humanity ReStores in Willmar and Mankato. Despite years of use, the carpet still had a lot of life left in it - something we contribute through Milliken’s unparalleled, built-in cushion backing, which prolongs the lifespan of our floor coverings.
Jolene Bulman, the manager of the West Central Minnesota ReStore, shared that she quickly relocated every piece of Milliken modular carpet tile. The floor covering now serves between 400 and 500 new spaces, rejuvenating dozens of small businesses in the area. This is just one example of the way that reuse gives new life to old carpet, extending its original purpose without needing to be broken down and manufactured into a new product.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that carpet makes up 2% of material volume in U.S. landfills. Intervention is paramount as most carpet is not biodegradable and will not break down.
According to the CARE Yardage Calculator, for every 250,000 yards of carpet that is diverted from landfill, we save more than 5,500 cubic yards of landfill space.
Continuing our heritage of over a century of environmental stewardship and our “No Carpet to Landfill Pledge,” established in 2002, Milliken Floor Covering offers a variety of programs to support landfill diversion, and the recycle and reuse of our products.
Our first priority is keeping carpet out of landfills. By focusing our efforts on the hierarchy of recycling, we’re ensuring that every inch of carpet Milliken reclaims is diverted with the least environmental impact.
The highest form of recycling is local reuse - finding a new home for carpet in good condition. This prevents unnecessary transportation and processing to break down carpet components for recycling, saving emissions and expense.
Over the past three decades, the national recycling rate has continued to increase. Today, the current recycling rate is 34.5%. We’re thrilled to see this number grow.
Our holistic approach to sustainability will continue to reduce, reuse, and recycle to protect our environment. We hope that you’ll celebrate America Recycles Day with us. Find out how to get involved here.