Recycling carpet is now a reality.
In the past, when you were in the midst of a home remodeling project, you could simply throw your old carpet in a dumpster and forget about it. However, carpeting has become a significant burden on landfills, as the materials do not break down and can actually release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which could harm local groundwater. According to the Carpet American Recovery Effort, nearly 5 billion pounds of carpet gets thrown away each year. This astounding number could be reduced if consumers took an interest in re-using or recycling the material, according to TheGoodHuman.com.
First off, instead of throwing out your carpet, see if you can find another home for it. If it is clean and in decent condition, consider donating it to a non-profit organization in your area. Floor coverings can be very expensive, so you would be doing a great service to your community by reusing the material.
One of the leading organizations specializing in carpet recycling, the Carpet America Recovery Effort, has installations set up around the country to recover old carpets that can be recycled into new materials. The fiber and yarn that is recovered can be cleaned and rewoven into new carpet tufts. The backing and packaging products can be broken down to produce everything from fence posts to automobile parts. Just about every ingredient in modern-day carpets can be recycled, so it simply doesn't make sense to throw it away.
When installing new carpet, ask your contractor or building professional if they can remove your old carpeting for you, and be sure to ask if it will be recycled. You could also find the nearest recycling center that can properly dispose of the material. Either way, you'll be doing your part to creating a greener and more sustainable environment.