Fresh flooring updates your home, but removing the old leaves you with a large pile of often smelly and stained carpeting and padding. Instead of adding the carpet to the landfill, give it new purpose by recycling, donating or selling it.
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The Carpet America Recovery Effort, or CARE, is a non-profit organization focusing on keeping post-consumer carpet out of landfills. The website lists recycling companies that specialize in carpet recycling. Carpet is recycled into a variety of products, including composite lumber, shingles, automotive parts and tile backer board.
Recycling carpet isn't typically free for the homeowner; expect to pay between 5 and 25 cents per pound of carpet. Each square yard of carpet weighs approximately 4 to 5 pounds, depending on the type of carpet.
Some carpet manufacturers offer recycling services. For example, the Flor Return and Recycle Program allows consumers to send back old Flor carpet tiles free of charge to a facility where they are transformed into new products. If you know the carpet manufacturer, contact them to find out if they have a similar recycling program.
Donating or Selling Carpet
Another option is to sell or donate the old carpet -- if it's in good, usable condition. You may no longer find the carpet appealing, but someone else may think it's perfect. Older carpet works as padding or a dog house liner, for instance.
Carpet that is still in good condition may be donated to a program such as Habitat for Humanity. Churches or shelters might also accept the carpet for a project. If you want to part with the carpet without making money on it, post it in the free section of Craigslist, Planet Reuse, Freecycle or similar websites.
Using Carpet Scraps
In some cases, you may end up with extra unused carpet from a remodeling project. Ideas for using those scraps around the home include:
- Padding for furniture
- Weed suppressant under a walkway or mulched area
- Kneeling pad
- Cleaning surface for tools or a scrubbing tool
- Small area rugs or welcome mats