The head of a California company on the forefront of recycling carpet and a Kentucky company that is spearheading new carpet reclamation technology were honored recently by the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). Ronald J. Greitzer, president of Los Angeles Fiber Co., received the organization's Person of the Year honor and Champion Polymer Recycling, based in Winchester, Ky., was recognized as Recycler of the Year.

At the awards presentation held during CARE's fourth annual meeting, executive director Robert Peoples described Greitzer as someone who is highly respected in the industry for his ‘can-do' attitude. "Ron is a person that people say ‘I love to work with this guy,' and that's one of the greatest compliments a person can get." Peoples also praised Champion Polymer as a company that "embodies the innovative spirit we strive for at CARE." He added that presenting the awards is "One of the things I am most honored to do every year."

CARE, which was formed 2002 as a partnership between the U.S. government and the carpet industry to promote carpet recovery and recycling programs, chose the LEED-certified Callaway Gardens conference center in Pine Mountain, Ga.

In accepting the award Greitzer noted that he was proud that his work had a positive effect. "I didn't grow up with a dream to be a carpet recycler, but I did grow up wanting to be the best at anything I did," he said. "I just want to make a difference, and that's something I tell my people every single day: make a difference"

Champion Polymer Recycling, a division of Infiltrator Systems, was honored for its successful implementation of a new polypropylene carpet recovery system. "The CARE organization has been a major influence in this effort. It is an honor to be recognized as the Recycler of the Year by this organization," said Roy Moore, president of Infiltrator Systems, Inc. in accepting the award.

In other business at the conference, CARE said it was forging closer ties to four companies that have demonstrated a commitment to reducing carpet-related landfill waste: Milliken, StarNet, Tricycle and ERCS. In addition, CARE officials said there was strong evidence that the group's efforts are paying off. They noted that recycling and reclamation in doubled last year compared to 2004. All told, CARE said 483.7 million pounds of carpet waste has been diverted since 2002.

The meeting also featured a presentation from Kelly Atkins, whose company in Derby, England, Carpet-Burns, offers recycled polypropylene carpet in 4' by 8' sheets. The end product features matte, gloss or stucco finishes and showcase the original patterns of the carpet.