Guidance on re-using and recycling used carpet

Last updated: 7.48pm, Wednesday 20th July 2016 by

A practical interactive guide has been published to encourage more re-use and recycling of used carpet arising from all types of refurbishment schemes.

Best practices for extending carpet lifetime and for refurbishment specification are also highlighted in the user-friendly document.

Carpet Recycling UK was commissioned by WRAP, the UK's resource efficiency experts, to write the report, entitled 'Guidance on re-use and recycling of used carpets and environmental considerations for specifying new carpet', which can be downloaded from the WRAP website at:

The guide is aimed at facilities managers in the public and private sectors, procurers, architects and specifiers, housing associations and floor layers to assist them with the type of carpet waste that is most likely to arise in refurbishment projects.

Floor finishes are a significant element of a building and contribute around 12% towards a building's environmental impact. Carpet, including tiles and broadloom, is the predominant floor covering used in both domestic and commercial settings, accounting for 58% of the UK's floor finishing market.

Against this background, CRUK worked with WRAP to develop a practical guide for facilities professionals to show how used carpet can be a valuable resource and successfully re-used or recycled in new goods, from carpet tile re-use to underlay and insulation products.

The guide explains how to prepare used carpets for re-use and recycling and showcases best practice for selecting new carpet. Information is also provided on how to deal with post-consumer carpets. It also highlights considerations for specifying new flooring which will increase the product's lifetime on the floor and further reduce its overall environmental impact.

"There is growing pressure for commercial engagement in sustainable practices and it is becoming increasingly important for FM professionals to understand and participate in such practices," comments Laurance Bird, Director of CRUK, the industry's award-winning not-for-profit organisation tasked with finding new reuse and recycling opportunities for the 400,000 tonnes of waste carpet that arises each year in the UK.

"As such, the document's advice aims to guide FM professionals to demonstrate their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and gain Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) credits. To achieve these environmental benefits, planning early for re-use and recycling of carpets is crucial," adds Laurance.