Recycling your old carpet
If you are thinking of replacing existing carpeting, have you considered how you will dispose of it? Many carpet layers and retailers will take away old carpet, either as part of their service or for an extra cost, but where does it end up? Sadly, a lot of unwanted carpet ends up in landfill, exacerbating the UK’s already huge waste problems. If you want to ensure your old carpet is put to use rather than adding to the country’s landfill crisis, here are some things you can do.
Offer it to a new home for free
If your carpet is in decent condition, someone will be happy to take it off your hands. Freecycle and Freegle are both fantastic sites where users can sign up to browse items others are giving away for free. Even smaller pieces of carpet might be desirable to someone looking to fit out a home on a tight budget.
Re-use part of it
If you are replacing a carpet because it is damaged or stained in one area, check whether there is enough undamaged carpet left to be used elsewhere. Could it be used in a box room, study or other smaller space? You can even use carpet as an extra layer of insulation in your loft, helping to keep your home warm and your energy bills down.
Use it in the garden to keep weeds down
Old carpet was traditionally used by allotment holders to keep weeds down in unused beds. It also makes a great allotment path. While many council allotments have banned the use of carpet due to the chemicals contained in some older varieties, there is nothing to stop you using it in your own garden. It acts as a tough weed suppressant for overgrown or neglected areas and can easily be removed when you want to start cultivating the land.
Donate it to an animal shelter
Many animal shelters would be grateful for used carpet, as it makes great mats for kennels and cages. It can also be used for cats and kittens to scratch to help keep their claws healthy and can help to keep cold shelters warmer in winter.
Recycle it via your local authority
Recycling services vary dramatically across the country, so you should check with your local authority about the options locally.
If none of these options are suitable and you decide to dispose of your carpet via your retailer or carpet layer, be sure to check that it won’t end up in landfill.