We recently spoke with John Thier, founder of RecycleAmp, to learn more about the company and how they’re working to facilitate connections within the carpet recycling industry.
CARE: How did RecycleAmp get started? What is your mission?
John: The sales teams for recyclable waste at large industrial companies are always looking for an edge to help them find better outlets for more materials. My first project in recycling was building an auction platform for a carpet manufacturer's recyclable material. RecycleAmp grew from that project.
RecycleAmp's mission is to give waste sales teams the technology tools that they need to connect with the right buyers in the most efficient way possible for both sides.
CARE: Tell us a little bit about the buying/selling process.
John: In its present state, buying and selling recyclable waste is often an incredibly frustrating and painful process. The RecycleAmp buying/selling process is different in a few key ways.
First and foremost, it depends very much on the needs of each company's sales team. Typically, we'll set a new customer up with a dedicated RecycleAmp sales platform. When that company has material available to sell, the material is posted on their platform and shared with a database of their customers as well as RecycleAmp's database of 800+ purchasers. Interested buyers walk through an extremely simple bid and purchase process that saves everyone time and protects both buyers and sellers. The idea is to efficiently get the material to the best buyer who wants the material the most.
CARE: What has led you to add carpet to your list of materials?
John: RecycleAmp's first customer was a large carpet manufacturer, so carpet has a special place in RecycleAmp's history. Compared to other recyclable materials, the volume and value of carpet waste makes it an appealing segment for RecycleAmp.
CARE: Who are the buyers and sellers of recyclable carpet material? What services for carpet are available now through RecycleAmp, and what are the possibilities for this segment in the future?
John: There is a big difference between post-industrial (recyclable material from a large carpet manufacturer) and post-consumer (used carpet removed from the floor a home or business) sources.
Right now, RecycleAmp primarily works with carpet manufacturers to help sell industrial waste to a network of recyclers who buy the material, reduce it to pellets and then sell the pellets to compounders to create new products.
On the other hand, post-consumer carpet recycling is a new and exciting growth area for us. PCC is typically taken by collectors from landfills or jobsites, who will then process or send the material to a recycler to produce the pellets.
There is a lot of crossover between post-industrial and post-consumer carpet recycling, and RecycleAmp is currently working with CARE to create more options for PCC.
CARE: What is your ideal end goal for offering carpet recycling solutions?
John: Post-consumer carpet is an incredibly complex challenge with a lot of brilliant teams working on it, particularly CARE and CARE's members. Any technology that can help reduce transaction costs and connect sellers with buyers is going to help those efforts.
I hope RecycleAmp can be part of that process more and more moving forward. The ideal end goal is to make buying and selling carpet material incredibly simple and efficient.
CARE: Is there a call to action for our blog readers to learn more or contribute?
John: Anyone who is interested in carpet materials and waste should sign up for buyer emails here: http://recycleamp.com/go/register-as-a-buyer/
Also, I'd love for anyone who isn't familiar with RecycleAmp to find me at the CARE conference in May for a quick chat. I'll be the tall nerdy looking guy with a laptop close by my side.