Shaw Industries said it plans to open a gasification facility at Plant 81 in Dalton, Ga., where carpet waste will go through a process that aims to turn it into steam power. Developed in cooperation with Siemens Building Technologies, the facility is designed to reduce byproducts, lower plant emissions and in the long run save the company up to $2.5 million a year, Shaw said.

"This really is a bold undertaking for the company," said Gary Nichols, Shaw's energy manager. "We've never done anything like this before, although it is something Shaw has been considering for a long time."

In the conversion process, manufacturing carpet waste and post-consumer carpet waste, as well as wood flour which is generated during laminate manufacturing, would be turned into steam which would then be used to power operations at the plant. Bill Barron, Shaw's vp of manufacturing, said the project is estimated to convert approximately 16,000 tons of post-industrial and post-consumer waste, as well as 6,000 tons of wood flour a year.

"The gasification process represents a huge savings in terms of landfill reduction and energy costs," he said.

Shaw plans to have the gasification facility fully operational by the end of this year.