Beaverton-based Carpet Collectors currently recycles 1 million pounds of carpet monthly, and is poised to open three new locations by 2012.
The business generates revenue from collecting fees from carpet dumpers as well as selling nylon sheared off old rugs.
"Everyone wants to recycle, as long as it doesn’t cost them money. In our business model, we’re charging less than the landfills," [co-owner Ron] Smith said, pointing to fees ranging from $35 to $40 a ton for disposal, compared with fees of more than $100 per ton at landfills, Metro fees considered. The non-prime, recycled nylon sells for between 60 cents and 65 cents per pound.
Though Carpet Collectors does not disclose annual revenue, Smith said the carpet recycling business is growing to meet an increasing demand for nylon, mostly spurred by consumption of non-virgin nylon for products made in China. Despite its fluffy appearance in the raw, non-virgin nylon can be mixed with resins for hard flooring, turned into picnic tables and benches, and extruded into pellets that make car parts like dashboards. Nylon fibers are also used to make erosion control products used by landscapers, even railroad ties.
Read more at Sustainable Business Oregon.