A New Castle business owner is trying to convince state lawmakers to ban carpet from landfills.
Ron Simonetti founded Waste Carpet Depot about a year ago after working for years as a chemical engineer at DuPont and GE Plastics. The company, with a facility in New Castle, collects used carpet mainly from local carpet installers, processes and recycles it.
“About eight percent of carpet nationally is recycled, the other 92 percent goes to landfill,” says Simonetti. “We need to stop that and try to find ways to keep the material coming back through the recycling channels.”
Simonetti says he’s been working with state lawmakers to implement a ban on curbside trash pickup of carpet, and hopes to get a bill passed next year. In June, the Delaware Senate approved a resolution that would create a committee to study the issue, with a report due back to lawmakers by next March. That report will include a ten-year Carpet Recycling Strategic Plan for the state.
Even without the ban, Waste Carpet Depot processes about seven million pounds of carpet a year, but Simonetti says the facility is capable of handling about 20 million pounds per year. “We have about ten workers on our first shift. We’d like to add further shifts.”
Across the street from the recycling center is another of Simonetti’s companies, Modular Carpet Recycling (MCR). MCR takes the highest quality recycled Nylon carpet, and through a patented process, turns it into pellets called Renewlon. Those Renewlon pellets can then be combined with Nylon to make new carpet.