How And Where To Recycle Your Old Carpet.

March 12, 2009

When it’s time to pull that old carpet up and either replace it or go for the wood/concrete look, what can you do with it? Should you just throw it in the landfill like everyone used to do? Nope – you should recycle it! According to the Carpet America Recovery Effort, nearly 5 billion pounds of used carpet end up in landfills every year – this is not good. Typical carpeting contains all sorts of nasty chemicals like polyvinylchloride (PVC) and Polypropylene, which we don’t want sitting in landfills for years and possibly contaminating any groundwater. So, the only “safe” way of discarding carpet is to recycle it in some way, and here are a few things you can do:

1. If the carpet is still in good condition, consider donating it to a non-profit organization.
2. Check out the Carpet America Recovery Effort website, where you can find a list of carpet reclamation sites.
3. See if sites I have mentioned before like Earth911.org have any references you can use in your area.
4. If you live in or near Northern California, check out San Francisco Carpet Recycling.
5. When getting new carpet put in your house, ask your dealer/installer for references on recycling the old carpet.

If you will be installing new carpet, consider buying it from a company like Flor, which makes carpeting out of renewable and recyclable materials. I am planning on carpeting my home office with this stuff, and as much as I love our concrete floors, I am looking forward to having some carpet underfoot!

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Comments (9)

  1. Great info. Thanks. I had no idea carpet was recyclable.

  2. Diane Kidman says:

    We’d like to ditch the carpet from our house – all of it! It’s been terrible for the allergies, and we’d like to replace it all with natural wood or bamboo flooring. But where to take that carpet? I hadn’t thought it through to that point yet. Thanks so much! I’ll make a note of the Carpet America Recovery Effort. I hate that carpet in my living room, and I think Mother Earth would hate it even more in hers… it’s not pretty.

  3. David says:

    Good luck Diane!

  4. Carmen says:

    I have carpet damaged in a flood that I can’t donate and live in Iowa where we don’t have any carpet recycling facilities. Any suggestions on what else I can do with my old soggy carpet?

    • david says:

      I would bring it to the landfill and just dispose of it. If you dont have a recycling facility for carpets, you don’t really have another choice as to what to do with it!

  5. Rodney Shorette says:

    Being a good human doesn’t require any more effort, just a new way of looking at the world and how we live in it. I’m hoping that lots more carpet reclaiming operations will spring up around the country.

  6. Buck says:

    Can I use old carpet to put around my young apple and cherry trees to keep weeds down? Or will chemicals leach down to the roots?

  7. Minnie says:

    This is a wonderful info! Thanks so much. I posted about carpet removal today, and was looking for a way to dispose off the old carpet (didn’t want to simply throw it out, it’s in a very good condition). This is an eye opener. Wonderful!

    Minnie