Leigh Fibers, based in Wellford, S.C., has established a business unit to focus on ways to divert discarded carpet and plastic from landfills and turn it into fibers and pellets used by plastics compounders.
According to Leigh Fibers, current and near-term equipment installations will give the newly formed company, Leigh Carpet & Plastics Recycling LLC, the capacity to keep more than 100 million pounds a year of used carpet out of landfills.
“Not many U.S. companies have the capability to separate the face fibers from the carpet backing and sort them by type,” says George Martin, executive vice president of marketing and sales for Leigh Fibers, “And fewer still can turn those fibers into pellets, ready for molders to use. Leigh Carpet & Plastics Recycling has the equipment and experience to do both.”
The new venture is already reprocessing the most common carpet fibers — Nylon 6, Nylon 6.6, polypropylene and polyester — at a one-million-square-foot facility in South Carolina.
“Reprocessing plastics and carpet is a natural extension for a company that’s been reprocessing textile fibers for much of the last century,” Martin adds. “We expect it to play a significant role in Leigh’s future growth. We’ve been refining our processes for the past several years and are ready to be a major supplier in this market, as we are in our other markets.”