Carpet composting considered

September 4, 2009 at 4:16 pm

As the UK looks to cut down on the quantity of products ending up in landfill sites, Carpet Recycling UK has come up with a novel idea for composting woollen carpets.

At present the idea is in its trial stage with Derbyshire-based composters Vital Earth looking to see whether wool-fibre carpet can be composted successfully. The idea of composting carpets marks a change of focus on how best to recycle woollen carpets, with previous ideas exploring its insulation value amongst other things.

The original idea seems to have come from research conducted in New Zealand and, if the idea passes the trial stage, it has the potential to divert at least 35% of carpet material that has come from domestic waste towards composting to create a good quality fertiliser.

However, before the agricultural sector can look forward to the benefits of carpet composting, the UK Environmental Agency wants evidence that the carpet’s backing is biodegradable and will not cause harm to the environment. As well as this, there are fears that chemicals such as bleach that are used to treat fibres mean that the final product may not pass the PAS 100 accreditation that would enable it to be used as feedstock.

Despite this, the project can only be seen as a positive development as the UK moves towards a more sustainable society and as such it has received the support of the Environmental Agency. Whether the initial trials are successful or not, Carpet Recycling UK can already be pleased that their work is generating interest in carpet composting that was previously unseen.

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