As America Recycles Day approaches on November 15, CARE has now passed the one billion pound milestone for gross collection of old carpet in California since the start of the California Carpet Stewardship Program in 2011. This hard-to-recycle product, made largely from fossil fuels, presents many challenges for collection and recycling, but at a time when many other materials’ recycling rates are declining, one billion pounds collected demonstrates remarkable progress.
“At a time of strain on the recycling industry, this milestone is an amazing accomplishment that is due to the hard work and dedication of retailers, contractors and recyclers across the state,” noted CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples. “This is one billion pounds of material that would have gone to waste and instead will see new life in new products. We are delighted to announce this landmark in conjunction with America Recycles Day.”
Carpet can be recycled when properly prepared and brought to a drop-off site that takes carpet for processing and recycling. The challenge is capturing the carpet for recycling before it goes to landfill. The California Carpet Stewardship Program works to increase collection of carpet by enabling and encouraging carpet collection from homeowners, contractors, retailers and collector/sorters. CARE also supports the development of markets for recycled carpet material, which is now included in a variety of products, including automotive parts, house trim and siding, insulation, accessibility ramps, even bullet-resistant walls and doors.
CARE’s California carpet collection efforts are funded through an assessment paid by consumers on every square yard of carpet sold in the state, as passed into law (AB 2398) in 2010.
For more information, visit CarpetRecovery.org.