How to Recycle Carpet Scraps

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Carpet scraps and even old carpets can be recycled, but usually not through local recycling programs because of the many different materials used to manufacture this type of floor covering. Some companies recycle carpet, but recycling it isn't free. If you'd rather not pay to recycle carpet leftovers or send them out with the trash, repurpose them for projects such as pet beds or doormats.

Finding a Recycler

A group called Carpet America Recovery Effort offers an online tool with a map of recyclers that accept carpet across the United States. If you find one near you, call the company to let it know how much carpet you have and what it is made from to determine how much it may cost to recycle the carpet. Your local standard recycler most likely won't accept carpet unless it has a partnership with a center that recycles such materials; call your local waste-management department to ask about recycling options.

Retail Connections

If you're unloading a few scraps rather than getting rid of parts of an old carpet, contact the carpet retailer; it may take the scraps back at no cost. Some carpet retailers that manufacture their own carpets recycle the scraps into new floor coverings.

Repurposing Carpet Scraps and Remnants

Instead of getting rid of carpet scraps that are in good shape, reuse them.

  • Cut a large carpet square to make a soft place for a dog to rest on a hard floor or in his doghouse. Make a carpeted scratching post or cat tree for your feline.
  • Use large scraps from two or more different carpets to create your own custom area rug. Cut matching squares out of each carpet, then piece them together with carpet seaming tape and carpet binding tape to create a finished rug. 

  • Cut carpet scraps slightly larger than furniture legs for simple sliders to move heavy furniture across a hard, smooth floor. Place the carpet side down beneath the legs to slide the furniture.
  • Repurpose small scraps as new carpeting for a room in a dollhouse.
  • Cut a remnant into a rectangle to make a soft, warm spot to put on your socks or slippers next to your bed if the bedroom has wood floors. Use a carpet rectangle as a makeshift doormat or place to set dirty shoes inside an entry area.

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