Cavalier product uses waste carpet
Kiwi carpet maker Cavalier Bremworth has launched a new carpet backing made from recycled wool carpet which it claims is a world first.
The company says it has already secured strong international interest in the backing, with potentially significant export potential for it as a stand-alone product.
Discussions were underway with carpet makers in the United States, it said.
Unveiled at Cavalier Bremworth's Auckland plant today, the backing is called Flashbac and was developed over two years in conjunction with textile waste recycling company Textile Products.
Flashbac will be introduced to Cavalier Bremworth's carpet ranges from today, replacing the existing jute which is imported from India. The company said the move will see around 1200 tonnes of waste carpet diverted away from landfill annually.
Company spokeswoman Desiree Keown said the use of waste carpet was expected to grow substantially as production expanded and exports developed.
"There is a potential waste stream of around 5000 tonnes a year so that gives us a great opportunity to produce significant quantities for export."
The backing was tested over three months at the country's biggest school, Rangitoto College, and performed better than jute, she said.
"As well as having excellent fire resistance, thermal and sound insulation properties, it is slightly thicker than jute and much softer."
Special carpet recycling containers have been placed at four Envirowaste public transfer stations in Auckland and the price has been dropped for disposal.
"We recognise that carpet is a heavy, expensive item to dispose of, costing around $200 a tonne to discard," Keown said.
"Under the Flashbac recycling scheme, clean carpet waste will only cost $75 plus GST per tonne to get rid of at the four Envirowaste centres (Wiri, Mairangi Bay, Pukekohe, Avondale)."
Cavalier Carpets is a subsidiary of NZX-listed Cavalier Corporation which has been struggling with increased sales of synthetic carpets from competitors and a slump in the building market.
Its sales fell 18 per cent in the three months ended September and it could not afford to pay its shareholders dividends.
In October the parent company announced 42 redundancies, 22 across Cavalier's Napier, Wiri and Whanganui mills and 20 at Norman Ellison Carpets, 70 per cent owned by Cavalier.
- © Fairfax NZ News