In the late 1990s during the height of New York City's construction and renovation projects, Sean Ragiel, then an implementation manager for Waste Management Inc., noticed a fatal environmental flaw: most of the city's post-consumer carpet (an estimated one-billion pounds a year) was incinerated or dumped into landfills, creating a significant burden on our waste stream.

Understanding carpet has many valuable nylon components that can be harvested and repurposed as diverse end-use products, Sean saw an opportunity. Merging his inspiration with his more than 18 years of experience in the daily operations, management and analysis of waste management processes, Sean founded CarpetCycle in Dover, N.J. in 1999 with one primary mission: find uses for post-consumer carpet and divert a valuable non-degradable, non-renewable resource from landfills.

By providing commercial building owners/operators, developers, property managers, carpet retailers, installers and home owners services to safely remove, collect and recycle commercial and residential carpet, CarpetCycle successfully diverted more than 175,000 pounds of post-consumer carpet and padding from local landfills in its first four months of business alone. And, despite its namesake, CarpetCycle didn't just stop at carpet; it also offers services to safely remove and recycle post-consumer building materials, including ceiling tiles, gypsum wallboard, fluorescent lights and VCT floor tile, to continue easing the burden on our landfills.

CarpetCycle quickly grew a loyal customer base – with clients ranging from SL Green Realty, to Armstrong, to Tishman Speyer, The Durst Organization and beyond – by not only offering a sustainable, LEED-accredited, cost-effective alternative to demolition contractors, but a sense of community. Through CarpetCycle's cooperative spirit, which remains at the cornerstone of its business today, Sean and his team work closely with every client to ensure a seamless, customized experience that exceed expectations.

In celebration of this next chapter in its sustainable story, CarpetCycle invested in innovative shearing technology that achieves 99-percent nylon purity. This technology, housed in Newark, gives carpet second life, enabling post-residential and post-commercial flooring to be safely recycled or reused as diverse end-use products, from new carpet yarns to automotive parts and beyond.

Today, through their ongoing determination, high-quality customer service and forwarding-thinking, Sean Ragiel and his team have diverted more than 200 million pounds of carpet from landfills – with current capabilities to divert more than 1.6 million pounds of carpet each month. Together, they serve as proof one sustainable step can make a world of difference for the shared environment.