Shaw Industries has announced plans to build a reclaimed carpet-to-energy facility at one of its carpet manufacturing plants in Dalton.
Designated as Re2E, or Reclaim-to-Energy, the facility will be totally fueled by reclaimed carpet materials from both internal manufacturing operations and post-consumer carpet collections.
The operation’s alternative-fuels-fired boiler is expected to convert more than 76 million pounds annually of reclaimed carpet materials into steam and electricity for the manufacturing site. This is the second of Shaw’s alternative fuel-to-energy operations in five years, with the company targeting completion of the project by the fourth quarter of 2010.
Rick Ramirez, Shaw vice president of sustainability, says, “This project allows Shaw to address three main priorities: energy cost stability, landfill diversion, and growth of our post-consumer carpet reclamation network.” Ramirez notes that the new carpet-to-energy facility will also support Shaw’s goal of 10% alternative energy sources by 2017 and the company’s waste reduction objectives, as well as the Carpet America Recovery Effort’s (CARE) existing landfill diversion goal of 40%.
Shaw’s current alternative fuel-to-energy facility, located at the company’s Plant 81 in Dalton, converts approximately 36 million pounds of combined post-industrial carpet and wood manufacturing by-products to steam energy through a gasification process. The new Re2E facility will use only carpet materials as a fuel source, and a very large part of the 76-million-pound total is expected to originate from post-consumer carpet collected through Shaw’s carpet reclamation network.
The Re2E process is projected to provide up to 50 thousand pounds of steam per hour, which equates to more than 90% of the carpet plant’s steam demands. In addition, the operation will supply the fuel preparation building with half of its electricity, or approximately 3.5 million kilowatt hours per year, which is equivalent to the average annual electrical usage of 300 households.
This facility will be equipped with advanced control technology to reduce emissions. Moreover, by utilizing diverted carpet material, Shaw will have the capability of reducing steam production costs significantly.
“This environmentally responsible initiative serves to underscore the company’s core sustainability position, Sustainability through Innovation™,” Ramirez says. “As Shaw continues to demonstrate industry leadership in sustainability, strategies like Re2E provide environmentally responsible solutions in conserving natural resources and diverting useful materials from landfills; ultimately, it also makes good business sense.”