Carpet Diversion from Landfill Scores Uptick in UK

Carpet waste diverted from landfill in the UK saw an uptick in 2018, with a diversion rate of 44%, up from 42% in 2017, according to Carpet Recycling UK.

In total, more than 175,250 metric tons of carpet were reused. The UK generates about 400,000 metric tons of waste carpet each year.

In 2018, main growth areas were in equestrian surface materials, carpet tile reuse, carpets for cement kilns as a renewable resource to replace fossil fuels for export and in the UK, and local incineration of municipal solid wastes (MSW).

Carpet Recycling UK manager Adnan Zeb-Khan says its manufacturing and distribution membership continues to grow, as industry leaders develop voluntary producer responsibility programs for carpets throughout their lifecycle. Currently, membership includes Cormar Carpets, Lifestyle Floors/Headlam, Britton Carpets, DESSO, Eve, Millikan and Balsan.

Italian nylon fiber manufacturer Aquifil – a company that just opened its first carpet recycling facility in the US – is another that believes creating new models for sustainable development, along with an infrastructure for the recycling of carpets, is a key to industry growth. “In a circular economy industry, we should manufacture everything with the end in mind,” Giulio Bonazzi, Aquafil’s CEO, said at an opening ceremony for the Phoenix facility last month.

Carpet Recycling UK is aiming for a target of 60% landfill diversion by 2020, the organization says.

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