A record-breaking 107,000 metric tons of waste carpet were reused, recycled and recovered in the UK during 2013, up 21 percent (22,000 metric tons) from the previous year, according to data released by Carpet Recycling UK.
This landfill diversion rate of 27 percent means that CRUK has exceeded its original target of 25 percent by 2015 two years early. This target was set in 2008 when the industry organization was launched to tackle the 400,000 metric tons of waste carpet arising annually in the UK.
Increased volumes have been helped by a three-fold rise — from 15 to 45 — in the number of local authorities providing dedicated carpet collection facilities, as well as the creation of new outlets and end uses for recycled carpet waste.
Reuse and recycling of waste carpet increased 19 percent or by 7,000 metric tons and energy recovery rose 31 percent or by 15,000 tons in 2013 compared to 2012, the industry group says. CRUK’s new landfill diversion target is 60 percent by 2020, against a 2008 baseline.
Carpets from commercial sources such as flooring contractors and retailers are increasingly being segregated so that disposal costs can be reduced and materials recovered rather than being mixed with other wastes to end up in landfill, CRUK says.
In other carpet-industry efforts to reduce waste, carpet tile manufacturer Interface and conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) last year expanded a pilot project that turns discarded fishing nets into recycled material for carpet tiles.