Carpet recycling becoming a viable solution to remove waste from landfills

Old carpet has been a burden on local landfills for years, but many Americans aren't aware that they have been able to recycle these products for close to 20 years. According to the Mother Nature Network, a number of post-consumer businesses have popped up during the recession that have found innovative uses for recycled carpet.

"While most components that make up carpet are recyclable or reusable, only about 4 percent of waste carpet currently gets handled in these ways," according to the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE).

Admittedly, for individuals that live in rural areas, dropping an old carpet off at the local landfill is far cheaper than finding a place to recycle it. However, for residents and businesses in urban areas, it is far more cost-effective to have these products recycled. People who are remodeling their home and would like to find a sustainable way of disposing of these products have a few options at their disposal.

Finding a recycling center that can take used carpet is the logical first step. Many of these centers will charge a small fee for the used carpet and may have varying rates for different materials. Another option is to buy your next carpet or flooring material from a dealer that has a take-back program. This recycling fee is often factored into the price of the new carpet, which is a small price to pay to help the environment.

Much like electronics recycling, if the carpeting industry doesn't increase its recycling methods, the government may step in and force them to do so. But, until that happens, consumers can educate themselves about the methods of recycling these materials to spare tons of spent waste from ending up in local landfills.