In the Ray C. Anderson Plant in West Point, Ga., Interface’s patented system of portable creels releases yarn from cones at the precise tension needed to tuft the carpet.
The excess yarn is sorted by color and unraveled as part of the reclamation process. The fiber will be re-melted, pelletized, blended, and then re-extruded back into fiber. According to Interface, this process uses half of the embodied energy that would otherwise be required to create new fiber from raw materials from the earth.
At ReEntry 2.0, Interface turns post-consumer carpet—broadloom and modular tiles—into reusable raw material. ReEntry receives thousands of pounds of carpet daily and nearly a million carpet tiles monthly. Since 1994, Interface has reclaimed more than 250 million pounds of carpet from landfills.
Each tile is identified by its composition—nylon 6, nylon 6,6, or other polymers, all of which have different melting points—and sorted into different reclamation streams. Interface processes between 40,000 and 50,000 pounds of carpet tiles, and between 25,000 and 35,000 pounds of broadloom carpet, daily.
A machine separates the tile’s fiber from its backing, which is conveyed into a grinder and broken down into its base components of fiberglass, latex, and vinyl.
The separated fibers or fluff are compacted from a starting height of 20 feet into bales weighing about 650 pounds each. The bales are sent to Interface’s fiber partners where they will be unpacked and melted into pelletized nylon for use as post-consumer content 6,6 or 6 nylon.