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Case study: London diverts

Up to 15% of residual waste at household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) is estimated to be carpet, so the potential to divert more from landfill is huge.

Since starting carpet recycling in October 2012 through six of its seven HWRCs, the West London Waste Authority (WLWA) has sent more than 5,000 tonnes of carpet to its specialist recycling partner, Carpet Recycling Group (CRG).

Post-consumer carpet is segregated and collected from Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmondupon- Thames HWRCs. CRG, based in Grantham, collects and reprocesses the waste, recycling fibres into new products. Its technology accepts carpets, carpet tiles and underlay.

Separate facilities are provided for carpets to be bulked up on-site to save space before being sent for reprocessing. Carpet containers are clearly marked to make it easy for residents to put their waste in the right place.

Offering carpet recycling facilities enables the WLWA to increase its recycling rate as well as, so far, saving around 14% on disposal costs by recycling compared with landfill disposal.   

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