California Puts its Foot Down on Carpet Recycling

The Californian government buys around $26 million USD of new carpet each year, Some for new buildings, but also as replacement for worm out broadloom. The latter sees the state having 5.3 million square feet (~500,000 m2) of worn carpet to dispose of. (This is not only a government issue, it is estimated that the state as a whole landfills about 840,000 tons of old carpet annually — roughly 2% of all ‘waste’.) Deciding this is not good enough, the Governator and his crew have drafted up a new government purchasing policy called the "California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard." Coming into force as of September 2006, the policy will see carpet vendors providing carpet with a minimum of 10% recycled content, and with reduced Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Additionally it requires them to ‘take back’ worn carpet for recycling, and to be certified by third parties as an environmentally benign manufacturer. Happily the flooring industry seems to accept the necessity of the action, and we are sure many companies will mean or exceed the standard, including some we've noted before. This move follows an earlier one this year that saw the government purchasing fluorescent tube lighting with one third less mercury than standard lamps. Both standards available for download at ::Green California, via the Sacramento Bee.