Carpet Recycling

Did you know? Since the Carpet America Recovery Effort was founded in 2002, carpet recyclers who are members have kept 2.6 billion pounds of waste carpet out of landfills.[1]

However amazing that may sound, carpet still remains a waste stream that often receives little to no attention. With an estimated 5 billion pounds going to landfill in 2003 alone[2], carpet not only poses an environmental problem, but it is also a huge waste of resource.

Too many people think that carpet is simply that soft material which covers the floors in our homes. Many fail to realize that carpet is in fact derived from crude oil. Therefore, wasting carpet is like wasting the oil that went into making it.

In the past, waste carpet generated at LIU Post was sent to the landfill. However, in 2011, we found an opportunity to recycle our carpet with a local carpet recycler. Based out of Ronkonkoma, New York, Long Island Carpet Recycling works with companies from all over the Tri-State area to keep carpet out of the landfill. In FY2012, LIU Post recycled 6,375 pounds of carpet with Long Island Carpet Recycling.

So, when the opportunity presents itself, carpet recyclers like Long Island Carpet Recycling will drop off a container where customers can store their waste carpet. Once full, the container will be picked up and brought back to their facility for processing. From there, the carpet is identified, sorted according to aftermarket use, separated, and shipped off to start its next useful life.[3]

Surprisingly, waste carpet can serve a number of purposes:[4]

  • It can be recycled back into carpet production.
  • It can be recycled into alternative products such as building materials, auto parts, carpet cushion, road underlayment, reinforcing filler for concrete, and fence posts.
  • It can be refurbished into new carpet tiles.
  • It can even be burned for fuel or energy.

In fact, carpet is even cleaner burning and a more efficient energy source than coal.[5]

Just like the entire carpet industry, LIU Post too is committed to a more sustainable future. We are proud to recycle carpet when we can and when the opportunity presents itself.

If you are interested in learning more about the carpet recycling process, please enjoy this video featuring Long Island Carpet Recycling.


[1] From Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) http://www.carpetrecovery.org/index.php

[2] From Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) http://www.carpetrecovery.org/faqs.php#8

[3] From Long Island Carpet Recycling http://www.licarpetrecycling.com/

[4] From the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)                                          http://www.carpet-rug.org/carpet-and-rug-industry/sustainability/index.cfm

[5] According to research performed by Dr. Matthew J. Realff http://www.carpetrecovery.org/pdf/papers/carpet_alternative_fuel_realff.pdf

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