Carpet industry to boost recycling rates

May 14, 2008 at 1:07 pm

If you have recently bought a new carpet, the chances are that your old one has been stuffed in the garage or the loft, whilst you wonder what on earth to do with it. With space in landfill sites fast running out, it would be good to think that the carpet could be recycled but until recently this has been easier said than done.

Now carpet manufacturers, retailers and recyclers have got together in an attempt to boost recycling rates and address the problem. A group of fifteen have formed Carpet Recycling UK, mindful of the “growing concern” and “recognition that something should be done”. According to Kate Atkinson, who has set up the alliance, the savings in landfill fees will go some way towards the costs associated with collecting carpets from householders and sorting them.

One of the founder members is the Swindon based company, Greenback Recycling, which is the first organisation to process waste carpet materials (wool or plastics) and sell the resulting plastic recyclates to industries previously reliant on polypropylene, nylon or rubber.

If your local recycling facility does not yet support carpet recycling, how about trying some of the following ideas for your old carpet?

  • If it is still in decent condition, see if anyone on the Freecycle network can make use of it
  • Take it to your local animal shelter for use in the cat and dog pens
  • Make a rug
  • Wrap it around a block of wood and let your cat use it as a scratching post
  • Put it on the greenhouse floor to keep it warm in the winter
  • Use it as underlay for a pond liner

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