How to Dispose of Carpet with the Environment in Mind

And why it is so important.

Whether you are planning to replace your old carpeting with a new wall-to-wall carpet or other floor covering, there are a few things to know before you rid of your carpet. You may consider recycling your carpet instead of throwing it out. 

Why is Recycling Carpet Important?

While it is tempting to place your old carpet curbside for garbage pickup, throwing your carpet away the traditional way, does have a negative impact on the environment. Most people are unaware that 5 billion pounds of old carpeting are thrown into the landfills every year – this is an estimated 17 pounds of carpet for every American, according to the EPA. 

Many carpets are made from plastic. When they are sent to the landfill, it could take hundreds of years to break down. When you recycle your carpet with the environment in mind, you are doing your part to save the planet for future generations.

Creative Ways to Reuse Old Carpet 

  • Use a piece of carpet for an exercise mat
  • Trim carpet down to the clean area and have it bound into smaller throw rugs
  • Portions of your old carpet could be used as a car mats
  • Use to protect your garage floor underneath your car
  • Or protect your knees or back when working on your car
  • Insulate the inside or floor of a child's tree house or even a dog house. 
  • On garden path, you can help prevent weeds from sprouting up with old carpet scraps. Simply turn a few scraps of carpet upside down and cover them up with mulch – this will help stop weeds from crowding up your pathway.

The Right Way to Recycle Old Carpet

If you’re unable to use your old carpet, the next best thing is to contact your local solid waste district. Check to see if they have a recycling program for used carpet. Another great alternative is to check your carpet manufacturer to see if they offer a recycling program. 

There are also recycling organizations that will pay homeowners to recycle their old carpets. Organizations like Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) pay up to 25 cents per pound for carpets. With a little extra time and effort in proper recycling  of carpet, we can each reduce the amount of trash over flowing our landfills.  

Did You Know? Used carpeting cannot be donated because of health concerns. However, if you have unused or new carpet, you can donate it to a charity. Some organizations will arrange to pick ups as well.


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