PacifiCrest & the Environment

One Earth, One Chance: PacifiCrest and the Environment

At PacifiCrest Mills we deeply respect the beauty and inspiration of nature; in fact the company was named after the Pacific Crest Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at its founding in 1978.  In that same spirit we accept that it is our responsibility and obligation to reduce the impact of our processes on the environment and the demand for non-renewable resources.

Resource Efficiency
Reclaimed Water
In 1996, PacifiCrest Mills became one of the first businesses in Irvine to connect to the city’s then newly-created reclaimed water distribution system.  By using reclaimed water, we save millions of gallons of potable water per year.  For this effort, we received the “Water Winner Award ” from the Irvine Ranch Water District.

Energy Co-Generation
A move that helped pioneer a new technology in energy efficiency was the installation of two co-generation engines in 1993.  From one fuel – natural gas – we create steam for the turbines that generate electricity for our manufacturing facilities.  The steam is then re-used to heat water for our dyeing equipment.  Thus, one fuel source yields two types of energy – electrical and thermal. By generating our own electricity, we reduce demand on the local public utility company and the regional power grid.  Another key benefit is that natural gas creates as little as one-twentieth the emissions of the coal or oil traditionally used to generate the electricity alone.

Reclaiming Nylon
Nylon sheared from the surface pile of carpet as it goes through the finishing process is aggressively vacuumed as it is sheared.  The sheared nylon is collected, bagged, and sold to be melted down and used in the manufacturing of automotive parts.  This reduces the demand for virgin raw materials made from petroleum, on the world’s most critical non-renewable resource .

Heat Recycling

Heat recycling technology also came to us in the multimillion dollar modernization of our finishing line, which became operational in January 1997.  The new system dramatically reduces energy use and eliminates tons of air emissions per year.

Low Impact Manufacturing Practices

Air Quality

PacifiCrest Mills and its parent company, Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc., historically have been proactive in implementing environmental safeguards and in surpassing all environmental compliance regulations.  In fact, we were named a “Clean Air Partner” with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (among the strictest environmental regulatory agencies in the USA) for achieving – five years ahead of schedule – the 2004 target levels for NO2 (nitrous oxide) emissions.

Reclaimed Water Re-Use

During the dyeing process, the dyestuffs are almost completely absorbed by the carpet and the post-dyeing water runs virtually clear.  We further clean it in a de-fuzzing process to remove nylon fiber.  It Is then returned to the Water District’s reclaimed water distribution system for further industrial use.  Thus, the reclaimed water is used again and again for non-consumer purposes in a closed-loop environment.

Indoor Air Quality Protection

All PacifiCrest products exceed the “Green Label Plus” specifications for low emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) established by the Carpet and Rug Institute, by using the lowest VOC materials available in the backing process. 

Re-Use, Recycling, Reclamation

Reclamation of Hard Waste from Manufacturing

Hard waste from manufacturing, primarily factory-trimmed pieces or finished carpet which includes nylon fiber, the polypropylene backings, and the latex binder, has recently found new life.  In a newly developed process, the waste is heated and pulverized to a grainy consistency, then used as a binder in asphalt paving projects.  Other technologies are turning this scrap into mix-plastic materials for under-hood automotive applications, or as a substitute for gypsum drywall.  

Re-Use of Packaging Materials 

The hard cardboard cones used to hold yarn for tufting are all sent back to our yarn processing plant to be re-used.  Carpet cores are used over and over as carpet is rolled up and unrolled during various manufacturing processes.  Cardboard boxes used in yarn transport are broken down and sent back to the yarn plant for repeat use.

Recycling and Responsibility in Our Plants and Offices           

  • Scrap metal from repair or retrofitting of equipment is sent to a metal recycler.

  • Water for pump seal cooling is re-circulated in a closed-cycle system.

  • Shrink-wrap used in bundling yarn shipments is reprocessed in much the same way supermarket bags are turned into new packaging.

  • Paper from office use is collected separately from other waste and is recycled.

  • Bins in lunch and break areas have been set aside to collect aluminum cans and plastic bottles for recycling.

  • Dedicated preferred parking spots and other employee incentives have been established to encourage carpooling to reduce traffic and pollution.

  • Plant hours have been arranged so that shift changes, and the resulting impact on local traffic, occur at non-peak hours.

  • We use electric lift trucks in all manufacturing and shipping areas.

  • All offices and plants are smoke-free zones.

  • We use super granulated dyestuffs to eliminate dusting.

  • Complete spill recovering procedures are in effect.

  • PacifiCrest provides used cardboard drums to local chemical suppliers for re-use, or uses returnable totes and drums.

  • We return all used motor and machine oil for safe disposal.

  • We are an active, participating member of the CRI West Coast Technical Committee, promoting and pushing for reform on many environmental issues, including use of recycled water, the Title V Clean Air Act, carpet recycling, scrim waste disposal and indoor air quality.

  • PacifiCrest and Royalty work hand-in-hand with suppliers to educate them on California’s environmental initiatives.