The release of the Carpet America Recovery Effort's (CARE) Second Annual Report and the naming of Matthew Ewadinger, manager for the North Carolina Recycling Business Assistance Center, as CARE Person of the Year were among many highlights of the organization's second annual conference in Pensacola, Fla.

The event included updates on the progress the organization has made during its first two years of existence. CARE was formed as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding for Carpet Stewardship (MOU), a national agreement signed by members of the carpet industry, representatives of government agencies at the federal, state and local levels, and non- governmental organizations. CARE's mission is to foster market-based solutions for recovering value from discarded carpet to meet the recycling and reuse goals set forth in the MOU.

"When I look at the list of accomplishments CARE can call its own during these first two years, I can honestly say we should all be proud of what this totally volunteer organization has accomplished during some very trying economic times," said Robert Peoples, PhD, executive director of CARE.

"I fully expect to see a steep rise in the availability of quality feedstock as well as innovative products using the feedstock as we move forward in our challenge to divert 40 percent of carpet being landfilled by the year 2012," he added.

A total of 93.7 million pounds of post-consumer carpet was reported to be diverted from landfill in 2003, with 86.6 million pounds being recycled. In comparison to the numbers from 2002, this represents an 87 percent increase in diversion and a 64 percent increase in recycling.

In other conference business, Ewadinger, who serves as a member of CARE's Board of Directors and is cochair of the organization's Business Development Subcommittee, was honored as CARE Person of the Year for his work within the organization. In addition, Nylon Board Manufacturing of Medford, Minn., producers of composite sheeting called Ny-Board and roofing shingles made of recycled post-consumer carpet, was named Recycler of the Year. CARE also awarded $103,250 in grants during the conference.

The CARE Annual Report is a key component of the annual monitoring process established to document progress toward the goals in the MOU. The report also offers updates on market development opportunities, quantities of discarded carpet diverted from landfills, successes and obstacles encountered, and related state and federal efforts.

The data was compiled via a confidential survey administered by Weston Solutions. The unabridged report is available on the Internet at