Over 250 million pounds of carpet is tossed in Canadian landfills each year. You can recycle your old carpet either by donating it or taking it to a dedicated recycling depot like a 4R Depot in Winnipeg.
Recycling your carpet offers two benefits. First carpet manufacturers won't have to use as much energy or raw materials like water and fuel. Secondly recycling prevents all the old carpet and its hydrocarbons from ending up in landfills.
So what happens to the old carpet once it's been delivered to a depot? Some is burned as waste-to-energy. The rest is broken down and recycled.
Recycling carpet involves identifying and grouping carpet by the fibers it's composed of, mostly nylon and plastic. Next the carpet is run through a shearing machine to separate the layers of carpet. This separates the components to then be used in other products.
A common raw material recycled carpet creates is plastic resin which is used in many household products including new carpet! It can also be made into building product like composite lumber, roofing shingles and recycled carpet underlay. Just thing...your brand new deck could be made from your well-used carpet!
It's incredibly important to recycle your carpet if you can. Since coal and natural gas are finite resources it's very important to conserve these fuels by recycling your carpet rather than using the supply to make new carpet.