Surfaces Transport Expands Its Carpet Recycling Program

Share Article

Public awareness of the benefits of recycling and their desire to keep carpet out of landfills has fueled growth.


CLEAR Carpet Recycling expands its landfill diversion program for residential carpet and pad

Our partners have told us their customers are really embracing the concept of recycling their old carpet.

Surfaces Transport, a floor covering and supplies transportation company with over 60 years of experience, is expanding its carpet recycling operation in Milwaukee.

Carpet Landfill Elimination And Recycling (CLEAR) was launched to select customers in early 2011. CLEAR Carpet Recycling is a subsidiary of Surfaces Transport and processes the collected carpet and pad in Surface Transport’s freight terminal.

CLEAR is now capable of handling virtually unlimited volumes of carpet and pad in its recycling plant. When shipments are received, the CLEAR team begins the process by sorting the carpet based on fiber type. Most common are Nylon 6, Nylon 6.6, Polypropylene and PET. Carpet pad is also pulled out and handled separately.

When disposed of through regular waste streams, carpet and pad cause problems for landfill operators due to its long-life and durability. Recycling the carpet and pad offer many key benefits, including:

  • reduce dependence on foreign oil
  • promote responsible handling of waste
  • support a sustainable flooring market
  • create green jobs
  • ease the burden on dwindling landfill space

Recycling carpet is not a new idea, but has stumbled for a number of years. Low demand for recovered raw materials, inconsistent supply of used carpet, high cost of transporting the used carpet and the relatively low cost for new materials posed problems in the past.

By leveraging its existing partner network, Surfaces Transport has overcome many of these factors. Improvements in the processing and harvesting equipment, plus technical advancements made by manufacturers have also contributed to long-term optimism in the carpet recycling industry.

“Our partners have told us their customers are really embracing the concept of recycling their old carpet,” explained Nick Fiore, president of CLEAR. “We support our retail partners with store signage and marketing materials, allowing them to share the benefits of carpet recycling with people shopping in their stores.”

According to industry group CARE (Carpet America Recovery Effort), more than 4 billion pounds of carpet was sent to landfills in 2009. Less than 10% of all old carpet is recycled nationwide, with the majority of that being done in the southeast where most of the carpet mills are located. The CLEAR recycling plant is able to process almost 100,000 pounds per day.

The CLEAR Carpet Recycling network stretches across several industries and market segments, such as government entities, carpet installers, construction and demolition companies, waste haulers, remodelers, retail flooring stores and more.

“The common thread in this is used carpet is handled by several diverse industries,” stated Fiore. “All of them realize it is in everyone’s best interest to keep carpet out of landfills. Our goal is to change consumer habits to the point that recycling carpet is the first choice when it is removed.”

About Surfaces Transport

Surfaces Transport ( is a specialty flooring transportation carrier based in Milwaukee, WI. It operates terminals in Milwaukee, WI, Eagan, MN and Elk Grove Village, IL, and along with a distribution partner in Georgia, delivers carpet, pad, hardwood, laminates, vinyl, tile and all related supplies and accessories throughout the upper Midwest. Surfaces Transport delivers direct from the manufacturer to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, upper Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota and northwest Indiana.

About CLEAR Carpet Recycling

CLEAR (Carpet Landfill Elimination And Recycling) is a carpet and pad recycling operation based in Milwaukee, WI. Together with their partner Surfaces Transport (, the Midwest’s leading flooring transportation company, they collect and process more than 500,000 pounds of carpet and pad for recycling every month. Learn more at


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

James Szopinski
Email >
Visit website