In the US, six billion pounds of carpet go to the landfills annually, with one hundred million pounds ending up in King County’s landfill. There is a strong environmental concern being raised by legislators, consumers, manufactures and retailers that share a desire to work together to find an environmentally friendly solution.
California just passed a law on carpet recycling, with a similar law is being proposed by our state legislators to force the recycling of old carpet (SB 5110). The challenge is how to regulate and who should be held responsible for old carpet; the retailer, the installer, the consumer? This is a provocative debate. It is my belief that most consumers do not want to put old carpet in a landfill, yet most people are not aware of the available options to recycle it. What can the consumer do? Be aware that there are two carpet recycling centers in our area and they can even pick the carpet up from the job site. The companies and locations are, (1) Again, located in Kent, and (2) Recovery 1, Inc., located in Tacoma.
Courtesy: Recovery 1
How much does it cost to recycle carpet? According to the Carpet America Recovery Effort, recycling is far from free. At this time it will likely cost between 5 cents to 25 cents per pound to recycle old carpet (carpet typically weighs about 4-5 pounds per square yard). Many building materials are made from recycled carpet, with decking and siding among the most common items. Carpet manufacturers are working on a carpet that is made from recycled carpet, although right now it is primarily a commercial product.
On the consumer side of environmental carpet, people should know there are new carpet options that are made from recycled products such as plastic bottles. The carpet is amazingly stain resistant and the carpet is soft and luxurious to the touch.
The bottom line: Most of us would probably make an effort to see that our old carpet goes into a recycling process if we know there is an option to putting it in a landfill.