MINNEAPOLIS - United Recycling Inc. on June 5 began collecting carpeting for recycling from the residents of Hopkins, Minn. ``This is one more step in our research and development process to recycle carpeting,'' said Robin Young, president and chief executive officer of Environmental Technologies USA Inc., parent company of United Recycling.
Both are in Minneapolis.
``We use a proprietary mechanical process to recycle well over 50 percent of the carpet,'' said Young, who also acts as chairman and chief executive officer of United Recycling.
United makes a pellet consisting of nylon and polypropylene at its 20,000-square-foot facility.
The firm, formed in 1991, spent four years developing the patented process, Young said. Challenges included dealing with soap residues, fire retardants and other chemicals.
``We want to solve a huge environmental problem and prevent a lot of good material from going to waste,'' Young said.
More than a billion square yards of carpeting is discarded each year, most of it into landfills, said Carroll Turner, technical associate for the Carpet and Rug Institute in Dalton, Ga.
Young hesitated to specify production goals because of the project's experimental nature. The company intends to sell the pellets to injection molders and others using nylon.
``We're not sure how much carpet we'll get in or how much material we'll produce,'' Young said. ``This is very much a learning process for us. We'll know a year from now.''