Leigh Fibers has established a dedicated business unit to divert discarded carpet and plastic from landfills and turn it into fibers and densified product used by plastics molders.Current and near-term equipment installations will give Leigh Carpet & Plastics Recycling the capacity to keep more than 100 million pounds a year of used carpet out of landfills, which would increase the volume currently diverted in the U.S. by about one-third.
“Every ton of carpet we can recycle saves 198 gallons of oil and prevents the emission of two metric tons of greenhouse gases,” said George Martin, executive vice president of marketing and sales for Leigh Fibers.“Our goal is to reduce the nearly 3.5 million pounds of post-consumer carpet waste that goes into landfills each year, while giving customers the high-quality materials they need to mold new products.
“Not many U.S. companies have the capability to separate the face fibers from the carpet backing and sort them by type, and fewer still can turn those fibers into densified product, ready for molders to use.Leigh Carpet & Plastics Recycling has the equipment and experience to do both,” said Mr. Martin.
The new venture is already reprocessing the most common carpet fibers — Nylon 6, Nylon 6.6, polypropylene, and polyester — at a one-million-square-foot facility in South Carolina operated by its parent company. Leigh Fibers is one of the world’s leading processors of textile waste and fiber by-products, providing standard and custom products to meet demanding specifications in many different markets.