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Carpet recycling rises by a third

The proportion of carpet waste diverted from landfill rose by almost a third to 21.4% last year.

According to a report from Carpet Recycling UK, of the 85,000 tonnes of waste carpet diverted from landfill, 36,000 tonnes was recycled or reused, while 49,000 tonnes was sent for energy recovery via cement kilns and generation plants.

In 2011, 16.5% of carpet waste was diverted from landfill and the CRUK is aiming to hit a target of 23.5% this year, rising to 25% by 2015.

Energy recovery grew by 44% or 15,000 tonnes, and the amount of waste carpet recycled grew by 12.5% or 4,000 tonnes.

Almost all carpet production offcuts were recycled or used for energy recovery in 2012.

CRUK director Laurance Bird said: “New recycling opportunities continuing to emerge as growing awareness is matched by practical endeavor.”

“It was encouraging to see new machinery investment along with growth in the use of fibres from carpets for equestrian surfaces and felts, such as underlay.”

The CRUK research also highlighted the contribution that separating carpet waste at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) could make to diverting waste from landfill. It found that ten local authorities operating across 61 sites use dedicated bins for carpet waste.

Last year pilot trials were introduced to determine how to collect fitting offcuts from the domestic and commercial sectors, and capture the estimated 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes from carpet fitting being landfilled annually.

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