CARE has announced winners of the Person and Recycler of the Year Awards for both 2019 and 2020 in conjunction with the organization’s 19th Annual Conference, August 31-September 1.

“We had to cancel the 2020 Conference due to COVID but did not want to skip recognizing a year’s worth of carpet recycling successes," said CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples. "So, at this year’s virtual conference, we are giving awards to the companies and individuals that have worked tirelessly to advance the carpet recycling industry in the face of recent economic and social challenges.”

2019 Recycler of the Year: Circular Polymers

In 2018 industry veterans David Bender and Nick Fiore joined forces with financial executives Jeff Kupets and Mark Babich to form Circular Polymers. A rising star in the chemical recycling world, Circular Polymers’ disruptive technology transforms post- consumer discarded carpet into new polymer raw materials for use by multiple industries. Their newly expanded facility in Lincoln, California can process some 45 million pounds of carpet per year, with plans to expand further. “Circular Polymers has grown from a small start-up to a major player in carpet recycling. This talented and aggressive organization has been a joy to work with in true partnership as we chart the next stage of carpet recycling in the U.S.” said Peoples.

2020 Recycler of the Year: RISE Composite Technologies

Founded in 2017 by Doug Mancosh, Rise Composite Technologies has patented a manufacturing process, RISE TM Technology, that compresses carpet fibers and other synthetic materials into dense and durable wood replacement products, including RISE Siding and RISE Trim. In their state-of-the-art facility in Mankato, MN, RISE participates in the circular economy by recycling and re-purposing expensive polymers used in carpet fibers and other industrial fibers that would otherwise be sent to landfill. “This company has developed its technology and products to become one of the leading market outlets for post-consumer carpet fibers. We are excited by the growth potential and the important role RISE is playing in helping keep old carpet out of landfills,” said Bob Peoples.

2019 Person of the Year: Chad Chaffin, Southeastern Recycling 

“Chad has been a voice for the recycler community for many years," Peoples said. "Since joining the CARE board, Chad has worked to support innovative relationships and programs to help move post-consumer carpet. Chad brings the intense focus and dedication of a race car driver, his former profession, to support the industry." 

“Although I've been in this industry for 20 years, in 2019, I took on a role of leadership on behalf of the Collector/Sorter Entrepreneur (CSE) community," Chaffin said. "I am surprised but grateful that CARE, the CSEs, the manufactures, the processors, and industry experts recognized me as worthy of this distinct honor.”

2020 Person of the Year: Jeff Kupets, Circular Polymers

Jeff Kupets is chief financial officer of 2019 Recycler of the Year Circular Polymers. For eight years prior to co-founding Circular Polymers, Jeff was managing partner of Mustang Trading, an index options trading firm in Chicago. His leadership of the company included risk management, model evaluation and implementation, and regulatory compliance. 

“Jeff exhibits the extreme dedication it takes to complete a mission," Peoples said. "He has worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic to ensure his company would be able to survive and grow… and Circular Polymers have done just that.”

Kupets said: "I am honored and truly humbled by this award. While I am the fortunate one to receive it, I need to recognize all of the work that got us to this point by the people at Circular Polymers, BGI, CARE and all of our partners, customers, and vendors. Every step has been a team effort."

2020 Person of the Year, Special Recognition: Glenn Odom

Glenn is a retired executive who has worked tirelessly in his state of South Carolina to facilitate recycling programs for years. Glenn was a CARE board member for many years and upon retirement was asked to stay on as an advisor, a request that is not uncommon of these gentlemen. Glenn brings a business person’s acumen and the passion of a true believer to his efforts.

“Glenn has been a tireless advocate for CARE since the beginning," Peoples said. "He has spearheaded a number of important initiatives that have benefited both CARE and more importantly, the whole recycling community."

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