Almost all types of carpets are recyclable. Depending on the fiber and chemical composition, carpet can be broken down into plastic fibers or granules, which can be reused to make new carpets and various construction products. Nearly all types of carpets can be recycled, but the process may not be as simple as taking out old carpet for curbside recycling. Nowadays, there is no simple and routine method to recycle old carpets.
Each case is individual, as there is no infrastructure for handling old carpets at this time. CARE is working to help establish that infrastructure. If you are a residential homeowner, you can ask your dealer for suggestions. If you work in the commercial sector, call the factory representative or the specifier and tell them that you want your old carpet recycled and that they will work with you to make it happen.
Keep in mind that recycling costs money; it's not free. Costs vary depending on location and available systems. A list of CARE claim partners can be found at the following link. Since carpet recycling facilities are few and far between in certain places, people who want to dispose of old carpets without going to the landfill may need to be a little more creative.
Nonprofit groups that specialize in housing, such as Habitat for Humanity, can accept used carpets and carpet scraps. Some multipurpose recycling centers may also allow this. It comes with an eco-friendly guarantee that Shaw will pick up your old EcoWorx rug and then recycle it in its factories. Reclaimed carpet can be recycled and converted into valuable materials for which there is already high demand, including PET, PP and nylon materials.
The state of New York is about to require that all carpets and pads sold in the state be diverted from landfills and recycled. If your local waste management company doesn't accept carpets for recycling, they can probably point you in the right direction to another company that accepts the item. This is mainly because carpets are very bulky and difficult to handle, but it could also be because the local waste management company does not have the equipment needed to recycle the carpets. Each step in the identification, separation, shredding and handling sequence adds another cost to the recycling process for old carpets.
This bill inserts the new Title 32 of Article 27 into the Environmental Conservation Act by establishing an expanded producer responsibility (EPR) program for carpets that sets mandatory objectives for recycling; convenient collection locations; gradually eliminating PFAS chemicals from the production of new carpets; a diversified management organization and governance structure; and objectives for a circular economy for the carpet industry. Once you've ripped and removed the carpet, you're left with a mountain of useless floors that look like a huge, fluffy anthill. Instead, millions of pounds of carpets would be recycled and converted into new carpets and many other products. While the price may deter some, the extensive processing of post-consumer carpets explains why you have to pay.
Recovering the energy content of an old carpet, since it is made of crude oil as a raw material, is also an important way out. Carpet recyclers break them down into raw materials and process those materials so they can be reused in things like car interiors and floors. Carpet and carpet padding are recycled separately, so ask the recycler directly to ensure that both materials are accepted. In 2002, a group of carpet manufacturers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and government agencies signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Carpet Management (MOU).
Many states have established government entities to oversee carpet recycling, so there may be a program in place where you live. .