If your unwanted carpet is still in good condition, it could be sold or even donated to charity. But if the same carpet becomes unusable or completely damaged, what then would you do? The first thing that comes to mind would be to throw it in the trash and get another one. But wait! In just a moment, think about it. Doesn’t it seem rather wasteful?
What if there was something else you could do with that unwanted carpet than just tossing it in the trash?
Carpets can and should be recycled! But you can’t throw them directly to the recycling box and dump it on the curb. There are carpet recovery centers and NGOs that will help you recycle it. If you want to know more about carpet recycling, keep reading!
Can Carpets Be Recycled?
Still, need an answer? It is a resounding YES! Recycling your rug is very possible but so many people are completely ignorant of this fact. This is probably because carpet recycling didn’t start until about just a decade and a half ago.
During this time, the Environmental Protection Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Carpet Stewardship alongside a group of carpet manufacturers. The MOU was signed for one purpose; reroute a percentage of carpet waste headed to landfills and recycle to be used for other products.
This is definitely a big step in the right direction and a boost in the quest for a reduction in the over 5 billion pounds of carpet materials that end up in landfills each year.
It is good to know that something is finally been done about it.
Carpet materials no longer go to waste but are now usable in the production of other products.
How Do You Recycle Carpets?
Carpets are made from a combination of complex fibers which makes it impossible for them to break down in landfills. Also, since their composition consists of multiple components having varying chemical make-up, recycling them properly is a hard nut to crack.
Just like I mentioned earlier, a large majority of carpet users do not know that carpets can be recycled. This happens because of a variety of reasons:
1. Carpet recycling is very different from recycling other stuff like plastic and cardboard. Since it’s less obvious that carpet recycling is a thing, pleople don’t recycle.
2. The available recycling bins around the country aren’t very good at promoting their services. Although this issue is being addressed by the MOU by establishing an organization that offers information on varieties of carpet recovery services to both individuals and businesses across the country.
3. The recovery centers in some states are usually very far from the city. Although some non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity accept carpets and other household items.
Ok, but how do you recycle carpets?
Carpet recycling depends on two main factors: the material with which the carpet is made and your location. Which is why it’s impossible to give an exact answer to that question. The the best place to start is your local carpet dealer. They might help you find some local companies or NGO’s who are willing to come pick up the carpet.
Preparing Your Carpet for Collection
One of the major reasons why recyclable carpets don’t get recycled is contamination. Contamination can be caused by the careless handling of the carpet when taking it off the floor. This happens when tack strips and nails get entangled in the tolled up carpet.
These substances may end up damaging the recycling equipment. The way around this is to use a magnet.
Drywall mud and paint are other contaminants that can make carpet unrecyclable. They are not as easy to remove.
Body fluids, asbestos, and chemicals are some other major contaminants that may a carpet unrecyclable.
Excessive moisture may not be so much of a contaminant but it makes carpet heavy and moist carpets are likely to contain mildew and mold which interferes with fiber-testing equipment.
To prepare your carpet for recycling, ensure to dry out your carpet and get rid of visible debris. You can also protect your old carpet from snow and rain by using overhangs or closed containers.
The ideal processing method to prepare your carpet for collection is to roll it with the fiber side out then cut to 6-foot widths.
Why You Should Recycle Your Carpet
Do you really have to go through the hassles of recycling an unwanted carpet when you can just toss it in the trash and forget about it? You may choose not to but you should consider it.
1. Reduce Dump in Landfills
Statistics show that over 5 billion pounds of carpet material are dumped in landfills every single year which does not do the ecosystem any good.
It is even worse when the carpet material is synthetic. Synthetic carpets degrade very slowly and chemicals are leaked into the ground during their process of degradation. This is exceedingly harmful to the environment.
2. Reduce the Chances of Cancer
Some other people in a bid to reduce the number of carpet materials in landfills have resorted to incinerating the carpets. The problem, however, is that when this happens, harmful pollutants and endocrine disruptors are released into the surrounding.
Some other hazardous chemicals like dioxin, mercury, and lead are end products of incineration of carpets. Exposure to such harmful substances may result in pulmonary diseases, heart attacks, and ultimately, cancer.
So dumping your unwanted carpet isn’t actually a good idea, after all, neither is burning it a better option.
The best carpets to buy are carpets made from natural, renewable materials like wool, sisal, jute, and seagrass. Aside from the fact that they are renewable materials, they are also very durable.
Whenever you decide to remove your old carpet, recycling carpet is the best thing to do.
If you will like to get it done professionally and save yourself the hassles, reach out to our experts by clicking (here)