Napa, California, begins citywide carpet recycling initiative

If there is one material that has a tendency to build up in local landfills and take up an enormous amount of space, it's used carpet. The city of Napa, California, has recognized this problem and it's Recycling and Waste Services has recently instituted a recycling program that will collect the spent materials and send them to a plant in West Sacramento, California, where they can be remmanufactured into carpet backing, plastic products and new carpet, according to the Napa Valley Register.

"According to recent studies, 3.2 percent of landfills are carpet," Kevin Miller, manager of Napa's Recycling and Waste Services, told the news source. "This is one of the most exciting programs I've seen as an industry professional because there's not too many occasions when you can take something that's virtually always thrown away and divert it from the landfill."

In addition to giving consumers the opportunity to recycle these products, the city of Napa also passed an ordinance in 2010 that requires all new construction, demolition and renovation projects to recycle 50 percent of their waste. The new carpet recycling program will cost residents $55 per ton of carpet or a minimum of $15, so this will make it much easier for building professionals to cut down on their waste and transportation costs.

While Napa is leading the way in California, there are many carpet recycling programs throughout the United States that consumers can take advantage of. Check you local recycling center to see if it can accept your old carpet or check with a carpet vendor to see if they will haul away and recycle your carpet when you purchase a new one. By taking these extra steps, you can ease the burden on your local landfill and practice sustainability in your everyday life.