Interface is creating a new network of regional recycling allies.

First among them is Oakland, Calif.,–based Rethink Green, and this initial alliance is expected to increase the amount of carpet that’s annually recycled for use by Interface by 40% to 50%, according to the company.

“It’s been our mission since 1994 to wean Interface production off non-renewable materials so that we only use recycled or bio-based raw materials, and fully close the loop,” said John Wells, president and CEO of Interface. “To that end, ReEntry has been essential, enabling us to capture the nylon ‘fluff’ that results from separating backing and face fiber that is recycled back into our products. Now we are turning our attention to increase overall recycling, and to the high quality separation and harvesting of backing from carpet tile that advancements in the technology and process are yielding. Over the past decade, we’ve been keeping an eye out for potential allies who also are dialing up the reclamation specifically of carpet tile, and who are as passionate as we are about closing the loop on materials. Rethink Green aligns well with both our vision and mission.”

Since its founding in 2011 by entrepreneur Carter Hallock, Rethink Green has recycled over 10,000 tons of carpet, and it recently acquired state-of-the-art machinery for separating backing from carpet tile, according to the company. Hallock projects that by the end of 2016 Rethink Green’s output will be 1,000 tons a month. The company covers a territory that encompasses not only all of California but much of western America including Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Washington.

“Typically, general contractors on commercial projects determine the handling and removal of materials for interior demolition,” said Eric Nelson, vice president, strategic alliances for Interface. “They have the power to decide whether it goes to a landfill or can be recycled. What attracted Interface to Rethink Green is its access to and relationships with these decision makers. And, what we’re looking for as we team with other recyclers regionally is that same kind of dynamic. At Interface, we’re good at giving our own customers a viable option for recycling end-of-use carpet tile, but it is harder to track and collect from the thousands of jobsites across the country without enlisting a company like Rethink Green. They will help us cast the net far wider to harvest used carpet tiles and diverting them from landfills.”

According to both Wells and Nelson, the search for additional allies is underway, with a goal to establish a network of carpet tile recyclers so that overall recycling increases significantly each year.

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