As a consumer, it’s important for you to know how much is wasted every year and what you can do about taking care of the Earth and our environment. Five billion pounds is roughly how much carpet Americans throw away each year, making it one of the bulkiest and least biodegradable ingredients in America’s overflowing landfills. Organizations like CARE (Carpet America Recovery Effort) are working to help us all make better decisions for the environment.
Based in Georgia, CARE’s mission is to “advance market-based solutions that increase landfill diversion and recycling of post-consumer carpet, encourage design for recyclability and meet meaningful goals.”
At some point in the future or possibly near future, you will buy carpet for a residential or commercial project. So what can you do going forward?
Before you buy new carpeting, you can recycle the old carpet you have. How do you go about doing that?
– Go to CARE’s website Carpetrecovery.org and find a Carpet Reclamation Partner in your state
– Contact a Partner to see what your options are to recycle
Your Carpet in the Afterlife
How will your recycled carpet be used? What kind of products are made from carpet?
– Carpet is being put into composite lumber (both decking and sheets)
– Tile backer board
– Roofing shingles
– Railroad ties
– Automotive parts
– Carpet cushion
– Stepping stones
A construction management firm, contractor, architect, or building owner can help keep carpet out of landfills by requesting these products or specifying these products in upcoming projects. CARE mentions that “recovery of the energy content from old carpet, since it is made from crude oil as a raw material, is also an important outlet.”