Carpet recycling in California saw significant progress in 2019, according to the just-released California Carpet Stewardship Program 2019 Annual Report. While California's overall materials recycling rate has been on the decline since 2014, the California carpet recycling rate is up 58% in the same period. In addition, CARE’s prompt and multi-faceted COVID-19 Action Plan has provided critical support to the industry as it faces the unprecedented pandemic-related economic and operational challenges of 2020.

According to the California Carpet Stewardship Program’s 2019 Annual Report:

  • Over 70% of all carpet collected was recycled, up from 53% in 2018.
  • 82 million pounds of post-consumer carpet was collected before it could go to landfill.
  • 58 million pounds of recycled output was produced (up 18% from 2018).
  • The overall 2019 California recycling rate was 19%, up 27% over 2018. The national carpet recycling rate was 5%.

The 70% recycling rate, or yield, has grown significantly over the life of the program due to investments and CARE grants in support of product testing and processing capacity, as well as growth in markets for post-consumer carpet materials and various technological advances.

CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples notes, “2019 was a banner year for the carpet recycling industry in California. Rising recycling rates, exciting technological innovations such as chemical recycling, growing markets and improved efficiency led to our most optimistic outlook in years. We are facing the challenges of 2020 with new determination and see encouraging signs. We actually did better in the second quarter – during maximum shelter-in-place orders – and now believe we are moving in the right direction for the second half of 2020. Feedback from the recycling community indicates the COVID-19 Action Plan has made a major difference in cash flow and their ability to continue to operate.”

See the California Program 2019 Annual Report here.