Going green: new
life for old carpet
This article sponsored by Shaw Floors.®
Shaw, the nation’s leading flooring manufacturer, is the leader in recycling post-consumer Type 6 nylon carpet fiber into
new carpet on a large scale. To see Anso
nylon carpet in your home, call Costco’s In-Home Design Service at 1-888-992-2773
to schedule a complimentary in-home
appointment. A professional designer will
bring samples to your home and help
you with selection. The complete service
includes measuring and installation.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH OLD CARPET when it comes to upgrading your
home or office? Unfortunately, the usual solution has been to send used carpet
to a landfill.
But new technology and improved business practices by flooring manufacturers have created a new option. Carpet made from Type 6 nylon (N6) can
Here’s how it works. Specialized recycling facilities, such as the Shaw
Evergreen Nylon Recycling Facility in Augusta, Georgia, can take carpet made
from N6 and remake it into new nylon fiber over and over again—without the
loss of beauty or durability.
A large percentage of carpet found in American households incorporates
N6. The recycling process is known as “cradle to cradle”—breaking down a
used product into its raw material and rebuilding the raw material back into
the same product. So far, only N6 has this “cradle to cradle” capability. Many
collection sites can “downcycle” other carpet fiber types into items such as
What kind of impact does this recycling effort have? Since the opening of
its facility in February 2007, Shaw has recycled more than 75 million pounds
of post-consumer N6 carpet. The facility will recycle more than 100 million
pounds of nylon carpet each year, which would have otherwise gone to landfills.
There’s an additional bonus to recycling carpet: Consumers, installers
and retailers who recycle their carpet at designated carpet collection sites
can avoid paying fees associated with the disposal of used carpet. This can
help lower costs on remodeling projects.
To find out if a carpet is made from recyclable N6 nylon, look at the label
on the back (certain brands, such as Shaw’s Anso® nylon, use N6 exclusively).
And don’t think these carpets are in any way inferior to their nonrecyclable
counterparts. These stylish products feature a wide variety of crisp, clean colors and cutting-edge designs—and they are extremely durable and inherently
A good resource for finding carpet collection sites is at www.shawfloors.
com/recycle. Shaw maintains more than 50 carpet collection sites throughout
the nation, and this network is growing. Another helpful resource is the Carpet
America Recovery Effort at www.carpetrecovery.org. A
WHAT IS TYPE 6 NYLON (N6)?
There are two types of nylon fiber, Nylon 6, 6 and Nylon 6,
which differ according to their molecular structure. Currently
only Nylon 6 can be completely recycled into dyeable carpet
fiber. Nylon 6, 6 is usually “downcycled” into other products,
such as automotive parts.