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March 2016 WRED Event
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The Big Stuff:

Carpet and Mattress Recycling

March 24, 2016

On Thursday March 24, we kicked off the 2016 WRED season with a fascinating look at "The Big Stuff" and dove into the worlds of carpet and mattress recycling.  Over 70 people joined us at Murrey's Disposal in Fife, WA to hear from experts  and  innovators in the carpet and mattress realm of recycling.   

Kicking off the day was Mark Gingrich with Murrey's Disposal welcoming the crowd and giving his insight of working with customers on  dealing with carpet and mattresses and working with local partners to  recycle them.  Next, WSRA Board of Directors member, Alli Kingfisher with the Washington Department of Ecology gave a  brief history of carpet recycling here in WA and along the west coast. 


Next,  longtime WSRA member and  innovator in recycling, Terry Gillis  with Recovery 1 and Carpet Processing and Recycling LLC  took the audience through the journey  of  engineering the ground breaking equipment that  is the basis of his carpet processing facility in Tacoma.  Through trial and some error, Carpet Processing and Recycling  is on the cusp on  being fully operational  and our group was able to  be part of that  journey!   One audience member said "This guy is incredible!", WSRA agrees! 

Brent Erickson with Mohawk Group joined us representing  the  manufacturing side of the carpet industry.  Brent gave the audience a dive into  the  sustainability and recycling  practices  of Mohawk.   The  carpet recycling presenters then answered audience questions and we headed into a break where attendees  indulged in some refreshments and  networking.  


Returning to the program and moving to the mattress  portion of the day, Alex Erzen, program manager with King County Solid Waste got us started.  Alex went into the  recent history of mattress recycling in the United States as well as the work being done in Washington.  Alex went into the  producer responsibility programs as well as disposal bans in different states and in British Columbia.   He also gave a picture of what is coming. on a national level and here in the Puget Sound area.  


To conclude our presentations for the day,  Jeremy Simler, Director of Operations with the NW Furniture Bank delighted the audience with the  story of the NW Furniture   Bank and their Spring Back Mattress  Recycling program.   Compared to the  high tech operations of Carpet Processing and Recycling, Spring Back  goes back to a labor intensive  deconstruction of mattresses and then in turn recycles the resulting materials.   Partnering with Mohawk,  Nucor Steel and Trex , the materials recovered  from the thousands of mattresses  the organization receives, get diverted from landfills and  used again.   Spring Back Recycling  received a WSRA Recycler of the Year Award in 2015  for Innovation and our attendees got to see this first hand.  

Attendees then enjoyed lunch and more networking time with the speakers and other attendees.  We then headed out on tours of both Carpet Processing and Recycling, LLC and NW Furniture Bank to see the hard work and innovation happening first hand.  

Here are some great photos of the operations at Spring Back  Recycling, thank you to WSRA Board Member Angela Wallis.  





A Brief History of Carpet Recycling 
Alli Kingfisher, WA Dept of Ecology

Mohawk's  Innovations in Sustainability
View the video in Brent's presentation  HERE
Brent Erickson, Mohawk

Mattress Recycling  in King County and Nationally
Alex Erzen, King County Solid Waste

The Story of the NW Furniture Bank and Springback Recycling
Jeremy Simler, NW Furniture Bank



Interested in hosting or sponsoring a future WRED event? Please contact!       


 Washington State Recycling Association | 545 Andover Park W, Ste 209, Tukwila, WA 98188 | 206.244.0311 |

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