Process for Recycling Vinyl Backed Carpet
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Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings' Infinity Initiative program is the carpet industry's first commercial operation to address the problem of solid waste disposal. In this program, Collins & Aikman assists customers with the coordination and return of their carpet for recycling. During 1995, 3.75 million pounds of extrudable material was diverted from land filling. In the Infinity Initiative program, reclaimed commercial carpet and manufacturing waste are reduced in size by a grinding process. The ground, thermoplastic material is then extruded into other useful products. These products can be recycled again and again, thus creating products with an infinite life cycle. The program was named "Infinity Initiative" because products will essentially have an infinite life cycle. Extensive market research was conducted to ensure that products produced from recycling through the Infinity Initiative program would have real market value. Products currently produced from recycled composite material (ER³) include: car parking stops, industrial block flooring, and highway sound barrier walls. A program is currently in place to use this source of recycled material in Collins & Aikman products - that is to recycle our product back into itself. The company's goal is to offer a product with high recycle content before late 1996. Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings is one of industry's largest suppliers of specialty commercial flooring. Their plants, located in Dalton, Georgia, manufacture modular carpet tile with a conventional, vinyl "hard back" as well as six-foot wide roll goods with a vinyl "cushion" back. Collins & Aikman Powerbond RS products are constructed differently than many "conventional" caipets. Powerbond products, engineered for maximum performance, are composed of a densely constructed, premium nylon 6.6 face and a vinyl composite backing. A microencapsulated tackifier (RS) system applied to the product during manufacturing eliminates the use of "wet" adhesives during installation.