The California Carpet Stewardship Program is off to a strong start this year, according to 2017’s first quarter (Q1) results. Recycled Output has reached its highest quarterly level since the program began in July of 2011. Recycled output hit 12.8 million pounds, an increase of 73% over the 7.4 million pounds in recycled output in Q1 2016. The increase was driven in part by continued growth in the use of carpet backing material. Coupled with a decrease in sales, the recycled output rate hit 16.3% in Q1, thus reaching the target set for 2016.

“We missed the target mark by just 3 months, and we are very pleased with these numbers,” said Bob Peoples, CARE executive director. “While we are thrilled with the positive developments in technology, capacity, market development, and demand for recycled carpet material, we are very aware that one quarter does not make the year. We are redoubling our efforts to maintain and grow the recycled output rate, as required by statute…We see that our grant programs have led to growing the capacity and market for recycled output. In addition, the subsidy for Calcium Carbonate (the major component of carpet backing) is beginning to have the desired market effect.”

The CARE California program is supported by assessment monies collected when carpet is sold in the state. The vast majority (~70%) of these funds goes to subsidies paid to collector/sorters, processors and manufacturers to support the carpet recycling ecosystem. In Q1 2017, $2.8 million was paid out in subsidies, an increase of 25% over Q1 2016. Besides subsidies, CARE program expenses include support for the drop-off site program, grants, market development, education/outreach and technical assistance.

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