Carpet and Cushion Recycling Program

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Pierce Flooring and Design launched a state-wide CARPET AND CARPET CUSHION RECYCLING PROGRAM

Effective October 1st, 2008, Pierce Flooring and Design launched a state-wide recycling effort for both carpet and carpet cushion that is removed from existing homes during the installation of new floor covering, and for the scrap created during new construction. This service is available to our customers and to the communities we serve as a whole. We offer this service for both residential and commercial customers.

We estimate more than a 50% reduction in energy use by recycling; comparing the energy consumed during the recycling effort to the amount of energy required to produce the same amount of material from raw petroleum. Certain types of nylon can be broken down into the basic building blocks that are used for new carpet fiber production. This process is sustainable, cradle to cradle recycling that will reduce the use of petroleum to manufacture carpet fiber, as well as reduce our impact on the local land fills. The recycling process does not re-use old carpet, but rather breaks down the material into the basic petroleum based raw components and creates brand new raw materials.

Pierce Flooring operates 7 retail floor covering stores in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Butte, and Missoula (dba: Pierce Flooring and Design, Pierce Carpet Mill Outlet, and The Carpet Barn) and provides commercial flooring solutions state-wide as well as into Northern Wyoming. Pierce Flooring has been Montana family owned and operated since 1924.

The Pierce Green Effort

The environmental issue continues to be an important topic in our industry and with our customers. Pierce Flooring has embraced this issue in several different ways.

In general, The Pierce Green Effort can be categorized into the following:

1. Products we offer
2. Recycling efforts we are implementing
3. Re-use efforts

From a product standpoint, environmentally friendly floor covering is a very broad and loosely defined concept. There are several ways in which floor covering can be deemed as “environmentally friendly.” Here are some examples:

Floor covering can be “GREEN” because:

  • It is harvested in a manner that causes no harm to the NATURAL resource from which it is produced. (example: Cork)
  • It is harvested from a natural source that is sustainable and plentiful. (example: Bamboo)
  • It is manufactured from natural products that provide a GREEN environment. (example: Linoleum, or Wool carpet)
  • It is RECLAIMED from natural material that was originally harvested for some other purpose. (example: wood flooring cut from trusses that were salvaged from a bridge or a building)
  • It is manufactured in a manner that uses natural resources more efficiently than traditional methods. (example: Torly’s wood floor, i.e.: thin veneer vs. solid wood flooring, using 1/30th the amount of wood)
  • It is manufactured using post-consumer waste (either industrial or consumer). (example: Carpet pad, or Anso Nylon carpet)
  • It is manufactured using materials that are RECYCLABLE into down-cycle products. (example: Type 6.6 nylon fiber, poly-propylene backing) The term downstream means that the usefulness of the resulting product is diminished and these items will eventually be either burned for fuel or land filled.
  • It is manufactured using materials that are SUSTAINABLE. This is the pinnacle of the recycling world. These materials are recyclable back into the basic building blocks of the original material, and then used to manufacture that same product over and over again. I.e.: Cradle to Cradle. No landfill or burning impact. (example: Ecoworks tile, and type 6 nylon)

All Pierce Flooring, Carpet Barn and Pierce Carpet Mill Outlet locations offer products that meet the above-mentioned criteria.

Secondly, The Pierce Green Effort is focusing on ways to recycle waste products that are created during the installation process. Primarily, these materials come from the removal of existing materials that are being replaced with new material.

There are currently semi-trailers located at every Pierce Flooring location. These trailers are used to store and transfer the “old” carpet and carpet cushion. Once the trailers are full they will be transported to Recovery 1, Inc. in Tacoma, WA. From there it will be separated by fiber type. Depending on type, it will either be recycled into downstream products, such car parts, or in the case of type 6 nylon, will be sent to the Shaw Evergreen facility, where it will be re-extruded into new carpet fiber.


Pierce Green - Recycle Trailer

By EPA estimates, recycling 20,000 lbs of carpet (approximate weight for the contents of one 53’ semi trailer properly loaded) saves the equivalent of 3,000 gallons of fuel. By our estimates, it will take a maximum of 653 gallons of fuel to transport this material. The net affect is a savings of the equivalent impact of 2,347 gallons of fuel for each 20,000 lbs of carpet that is recycled. We will also reduce the impact to our local landfills.

Lastly, the third component of The Pierce Green Effort is RE-USE. This may be the most environmentally responsible effort of all, and truly, the simplest thing we can do.

Torly’s, an exclusive supplier to Pierce Flooring for the state of Montana, has developed a very unique installation method that allows their floors to be removed and re-installed, up to 3 times. Therefore, you can remove it from one room and use it in another, or you can move it to your cabin, donate it to your kids, or give it to Habitat for Humanity. Thinking in a truly a local sense with this effort, we eliminate the transportation and manufacturing processes that are required even in the most beneficial recycling efforts.

Pierce will continue to strive for improvements in all of these areas. Doing what is right for our environment will benefit our company, our customers, our industry and our world.