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How a Dalton company reduced landfill waste to zero

Earth Day is all about protecting the environment, but one company in Dalton makes sustainability a priority year-round.

Earth Day is all about protecting the environment, but one company in Dalton makes sustainability a priority year-round.

J+J Flooring Group had an ambitious goal: to achieve landfill-free status by the year 2020. Now, they have been doing it for over a year and a half, and they are the firstcommercial flooring manufacturer in the country to do so.

Environmental Innovation Director Russ DeLozier says the average person throws away about five pounds of trash per day, but the commercial carpet manufacturer has not sent a single pound of waste to a landfill in 20 months.

"We recycle everything we can: all the plastic, all the papers, all the metals," DeLozier told NewsChannel 9. "We've done all the traditional recycling for decades."

Everything that is left over in the manufacturing process goes to good use.

"We take that last little bit of yarn, mix it together, create a random color, and create a product that makes customers say, quite frankly, 'I like that. I like that random colored effect' so we're able to sell it back into carpet," said DeLozier.

And things that can't be recycled, like bathroom trash, are converted to energy. All of the company's 750 associates take part in the "Zero Waste to Landfill" initiative.

"If we do that here, then we are more likely to do that outside of work," said tufter Tina Phillips.

Employees can even bring in their recycling from home.

Overall J+J Flooring Group estimates they have kept at least 5 million pounds of trash out of landfills, and they are hoping other companies, and individuals, will be inspired to take action as well.

"I promise you every single person can reduce the amount of trash they send to a landfill if they commit themselves to doing it," said DeLozier.

The company is currently working to reduce its water consumption and completely convert to solar power.

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