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per year, or about 70% of the shipment in 1996. The amount of the various materials used in carpet manufacturing in the United States for 1996 is given in Table 16.3.

Nylon generally performs the best among all synthetic fibers as carpet face yarn, but it is also the most expensive. Typical price per kilogram for the plastic resins are: nylon $2.50, polyester $1.20, and polypropylene $0.75. This price list provides a perspective on the economics of recycling as well. For example, if it takes the same processing effort to convert the fiber into resin, an operation on nylon would be most profitable. This also explains why most of the recycling effort is on nylon recovery.

Table 16.3 Estimate of Amount of Materials in Carpet Produced in 1996

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