How to dispose of carpet
Recycling is good, reusing is better, reducing is best.
If you’re renovating your home or business, you might be wondering if there is a more sustainable way to dispose of your old carpet. It is normal to feel guilty when you add a load of materials to the landfill, and that is before you think about the cost.
Dump fees for landfills can get expensive, reaching up to $100 per tonne of waste, but can you recycle carpet? Unfortunately, no, you can’t. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reuse it! Putting old carpet to use in a new job is even better than recycling in the traditional sense.
Many floor layers and carpenters say they want to recycle old carpets, but they don’t know how to. Some also feel that it should not be their responsibility to go out of their way to recycle other people’s waste, which we think is fair enough!
So, here are some ideas on how to dispose of carpet. It is always handy to remember that reusing something even just once is always better than throwing it away.
How to reuse old carpet
If carpet recycling isn’t an option, what is?
Australia is prone to some pretty wild weather, and floods are particularly common in farming areas. This is more than just annoying for farmers as they lose their crops and a chunk of their income, but there is a bigger problem too.
Standing in waterlogged fields and barns, animals become uncomfortable and risk infections or injury. Lame cows tend to lie down more, which is unpleasant for them and threatens the farmer’s income again.
To deal with the problem, farmers use old pieces of carpet for cows and other animals to stand on. Especially in the wet season, they will be happy to receive donations of even completely damaged carpets, so get in touch with farmers in your area to help out.
Building sites use pieces of old carpet to protect the newly laid floor while construction is still underway. Electricians might also kneel on a piece of carpet to protect their knees while they work.
To put your old carpet pieces to good use, contact a building company or flooring shop in your area.
We wouldn’t recommend using carpet as insulation on a building, but as a makeshift heat container, it does alright. To keep your home or workplace warmer during winter, stick old pieces of carpet to the walls and see if you notice a difference.
As well as keeping the heat in, insulation doubles up as soundproofing. We have used this one ourselves as we used some carpet pieces we had lying around to (very unprofessionally) soundproof the room that we film our videos in.
Even if you don’t need any extra insulation yourself, donate your pieces of carpet to someone that does. Your neighbour’s son has just got a drum kit? The community theatre group down your road? Your other neighbour’s doing a bit of DIY renovating?
On the topic of renovating, garages are sometimes an area of the house that gets the offcuts from others. The carpet that’s too worn for your lounge room might be perfect for your garage – especially if you actually keep cars in there.
If you don’t have or use a garage, some unwanted carpet tiles might be the perfect gift for someone that doesn’t know they need it.
As electricians kneel on carpet scraps to protect their knees, gardeners keep their pants dry by using the same method. Weeding, planting and watering are low impact activities, but the knees do take a battering sometimes.
If you have smaller pieces of carpet left over, a gardening mat might be the perfect use for it. And, as with the other carpet recycling options, you can always gift it to someone that needs it if you don’t!
Emergency track mats
If you go four-wheeling often (or occasionally), you need bog mats. Bog mats go under your wheels in bogs and water to give the tyres something to grip to. If you get bogged, and you don’t have mats, you will quickly wish you did.
Luckily for unprepared newbies, there is an emergency alternative. Pieces of carpet can, in an emergency, be used in place of bog mats to help you get your car out of a bog.
If you fancy having a go at a bit of DIY, a doormat is a great place to start. Old carpet offcuts can be cleaned up and revitalised to create a unique doormat that matches your interior
We have said it for nearly every option, but the DIY doormats would make a great present! Your parents in law will love a doormat that matches the inside of your lounge….we reckon.
If you or anyone you know is in the process of decking out a van, carpet pieces are genuinely invaluable. From the insulation and soundproofing that we mentioned earlier to actual carpet and rooftop gardens, carpets that no longer fill a room might still suit a van perfectly
Carpet glue, scissors, a pen and a tape measure are all you need to turn your (or your mum’s) old carpet into the cosiest aspect of your home-on-wheels.
Drop sheets for painters
Painters are a messy bunch, and they know it. That’s why they tend to use plastic sheets known as drop sheets, or they’d have some very unhappy customers.
Old carpet makes a great drop sheet, and anything that removes some plastic off the planet is a winner in our books. If you know a painter and decorator, or anyone involved with renovations, old carpet might be a useful donation for them.
What to do with old carpet
Unfortunately, we haven’t found a way to fully recycle carpet yet, but there are some individuals and businesses making progress.
If you live in Greater Sydney, Carpet Recyclers are looking for used carpet tiles. A quick search will let you know if there are similar services in other areas, so do some research if you have an upcoming job involving carpet.
For information on carpet alternatives, feel free to reach out to the team using the chat function below. As always, you can call the team on 1300 628 746.