Shaw Industries is opening a $10-million power plant in the carpet capital of the United States, Dalton, Ga., which will be fueled by 16,000 tons of the company’s own carpet scraps and 6,000 tons of sawdust from its wood flooring operations.

Shaw Industries is opening a $10-million power plant in the carpet capital of the United States, Dalton, Ga., which will be fueled by 16,000 tons of the company’s own carpet scraps and 6,000 tons of sawdust from its wood flooring operations.

Shaw has partnered with Siemens Building Technology to perfect the process of converting waste carpet, which, according to Steve Bradfield, Shaw’s corporate director of environmental affairs, has not been easy. He cites plastic materials melting the carpet as part of the problem, as well as the conversion process being too toxic to meet air pollution standards.

In this refined process, carpet passes through a shredder and then to a gassifier, which converts the scraps into a synthetic gas. The gas is then pushed through two pollution-controlling processes and is funneled to the factory, where is it burned like a natural gas.

Shaw hopes the new plant will save up to $2.5 million annually in fuel costs.