October 4, 2011

It’s estimated nearly five billion pounds of carpet was sent to U.S. landfills in 2003 alone. Carpet stores and recycling companies are teaming up to help put a dent in that number by turning old carpet into new products. The world’s largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw, is partnering with local recycling companies to create a carpet collection network throughout the country. The company expects to collect more than 300 million pounds of carpet waste every year. The company also uses an ‘Evergreen Nylon Recycling’ program which converts used Nylon 6 carpet back to its original starting material.

Another major U.S. flooring company recently announced a new carpet and padding recycling program. Empire Today is partnering with the Carpet America Recovery Act to collect and recycle the old carpet removed by its carpet installers. A pilot program testing the idea collected more than six million pounds of carpet and padding to be recycled. The recycling program is currently operating in 25 communities and will continue to expand throughout the year.

The title of the first zero-waste carpet store in Michigan just went to Cash-n-Carry flooring in Traverse City. The store is recycling all of the used carpet it collects from homes and businesses through the Carpet Landfill Elimination and Recycling company, or CLEAR. CLEAR turns recycled carpet into everything from new carpet and cushion to picnic tables and automobile parts.