Shaw and Siemens Launch First U.S. Waste Carpet-to-Energy Project

Shaw and Siemens Launch First U.S. Waste Carpet-to-Energy Project

Customers of Shaw Industries, as well as citizens of Dalton, Ga., will soon benefit from the nation's first waste carpet-to-energy project.

Shaw Industries and Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., have developed a process for converting carpet and wood manufacturing waste into steam energy and, as a result, will lower plant emissions, greatly reduce the amount of post-manufacturing carpet waste in landfills, and save Shaw's Dalton plant up to $2.5 million per year.

Siemens will design, build and service a conversion facility adjacent to Shaw's carpet manufacturing plant in Dalton. The facility, which is scheduled to be fully operable by the end of 2005, will convert by-products of Shaw's manufacturing process -- carpet selvage, seam waste and wood flour -- into gas which will fuel a boiler to produce more than 50,000 lbs of steam per hour. Shaw will then use the steam in its manufacturing operations in Dalton.

Bill Barron, Shaw vice president of manufacturing, says the project will convert per year approximately 16,000 tons of post-manufacturing and post-consumer carpet waste, and 6,000 tons of wood flour.

Customers of Shaw should benefit from the waste conversion process since the disposal of post-consumer carpet waste also poses a challenge for building owners and operators. More than 25 million tons of post-consumer carpet is deposited in landfills each year, comprising 2% of all landfill waste.

Citizens of Dalton will also benefit said Barron since the project will virtually eliminate Shaw's post-manufacturing carpet waste destined for the Dalton community landfill. "This initiative will greatly reduce our landfill costs and help Shaw Industries become a sustainable organization," he added.

According to Bob Peoples, executive director of the Carpet and Rug Institute, an estimated five billion pounds of post-consumer and post-manufacturing carpet was landfilled in the U.S. in 2004.

In addition, the conversion of carpet and wood waste into energy will result in significantly cleaner emissions, when compared to consumption of coal and fuel oil which Shaw currently uses to power its manufacturing operations.

Moreover, by replacing the use of coal and fuel oil with carpet and wood waste, Shaw will save millions of dollars per year in steam production costs.

"Shaw now has in the plans a firm, fixed energy price for its Dalton plant," said Clark Wiedetz, energy business development manager, Siemens Building Technologies. "With the fluctuation of oil and gas prices, that could be a huge competitive advantage in a price sensitive industry."