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working together to increase carpet recycling in washington

King County LinkUp, Seattle Public Utilities, Zero Waste Washington, and the Washington State Department of Ecology are working to build on existing public and private efforts and convene a coalition of diverse participants who work together to significantly increase carpet recycling throughout Washington. The goal is for the coalition to tackle thorny challenges, thoughtfully consider diverse approaches, and eventually implement joint strategies. Read the project descriptionDownload PDF 100 K.

Washington-focused stakeholder meeting and webinar:

King County LinkUp, Seattle Public Utilities, Zero Waste Washington, and Washington State Department of Ecology hosted a Washington-focused stakeholder meeting and webinar on October 16, 2014. The goals of the meeting were to share the story arc of carpet recycling, including what we have learned during the past year of outreach and actions; discuss where this information leads; discuss what can be done to advance carpet recycling in our state, given the new status of carpet recycling, and who wants to work on it at this juncture; and set the stage for next steps. View the meeting reportDownload PDF 66 K, story arc presentationDownload PDF 2.2 MB, and Carpet Recycling in Washington: Current Landscape handoutDownload PDF 61 K.

Stakeholder interviews:

Following up on the webinar and on-line survey (see below), King County LinkUp, Seattle Public Utilities and Zero Waste Washington conducted 17 in-person interviews with representatives from diverse stakeholder types (December 2013 - April 2014) to obtain greater depth of discussion about what is needed to advance carpet recycling in the state. Read the interviews summaryDownload PDF 114 K.

Increasing carpet recycling in washington stakeholder survey (completed dec. 2013):

This survey was conducted to learn more about current stakeholder behaviors and perceptions regarding carpet recycling; gauge interest and perceived barriers to carpet recycling among different stakeholder groups; and probe for ideas to increase carpet recycling in Washington state. Read the survey reportDownload PDF 570 K.

What’s happening with carpet recycling webinar (nov. 4, 2013):

Presentations covering the basics of carpet recycling, California Carpet Stewardship Program, carpet recycling support by Flooring Association Northwest, status of carpet recycling in Washington State, a progress update on carpet recycling and a lively Q&A session. Webinar sponsors were King County LinkUp, Seattle Public Utilities, Zero Waste Washington and Washington State Department of Ecology.

CARE annual conference

The CARE Annual Meeting was held in Seattle, May 7-8, 2014. King County LinkUp and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) participated on the planning committee for the event.  SPU organized sessions titled What Can We Make with Carpet Sand? and Institutional Purchasing of Products Made Using Recovered Carpet Materials. And LinkUp organized the Sustainable Product Design: How the Product Design Side of the Equation Can Help Spur Carpet Recycling session.

northwest carpet recycling strategy

King County LinkUp and Seattle Public Utilities external link , coordinated a Carpet Recycling WorkgroupDownload PDF 245 K to develop the Northwest Carpet Recycling Strategy, which was completed in 2010. The strategy is a set of actions to achieve the following project objectives:

  1. Establish processing capacity for used carpet, and supporting activities, in the region.
  2. Support the development of end-markets for carpet-derived material commodities.

The Northwest Carpet Recycling StrategyDownload PDF 84 K is organized into seven actions:

  1. Pursue product stewardship measures
  2. Increase demand for carpet recycling.
  3. Increase demand for carpet-derived commodities and products made with recovered carpet fiber.
  4. Use solid waste or other public policies to influence costs and motivate flow of quality material to recycling.
  5. Reduce asbestos contamination of used carpet.
  6. Form a consortium to bring a carpet processing facility to the Northwest.
  7. Network and collaborate with interested parties and potential participants.

Carpet strategy project timeline

The Carpet Strategy Project timeline includes a series of development meetings and implementation activities. Visit the Carpet Strategy Partners page to learn more about the groups that have been involved.

LinkUp Carpet Strategy Project visual timeline (PDF)


Carpet Removal Best Practices Field Guide: King County LinkUp has developed an easy-reference carpet removal field guide (based on the full Best Practices – see below) for estimators, installers, construction and demolition contractors, and others that work at the job site where carpet will be removed for recycling.  Download a copy of the Carpet Removal Best Practices for Carpet Recycling Field GuideDownload PDF 317 K, or order copies from Kris Beatty, King County LinkUp.

In the Loop: The NW Carpet Recycling Value Chain Event: The Washington State Recycling Association external link , in partnership with King County LinkUp and Seattle Public Utilities, hosted a Washington Recycles Every Day external link event on June 21, 2012 at which over 120 members of the recycling community and carpet industry learned about the developing carpet recycling value chain in the Pacific Northwest. The event featured presentations, breakout sessions and exhibits. Learn more

Carpet Stewardship Bill: Senate Bill and Substitute Senate Bill 6341 Download PDF external link an act relating to creating jobs by increasing the recycling of discarded carpet was introduced in the 2012 Washington State Legislative Session. The Northwest Product Stewardship Council external link and several agencies involved in the Carpet Recycling Workgroup tracked the bill, provided input to improve bill language, and testified in its favor.

2010 & 2011

Public Purchasing: The City of Seattle external link led the process to establish a carpet & flooring contract for U.S. Communities, a purchasing collaborative for public agencies, schools and charities. The contract became available in December 2011 and the vendor is Empire Today. The contract requires carpet reclamation on projects that involve carpet removal, and includes the availability of many recycled-content carpet products.

Carpet Removal Best Practices: LinkUp facilitated a work group of local flooring industry representatives, carpet recyclers, air quality and worker safety regulatory agencies and others to develop the 2011 Carpet Removal Best Practices for Carpet RecyclingDownload PDF 206 K. When used, the best practices will help ensure that carpet removed from buildings is suitable for recycling. They will be promoted for use throughout Washington.

2011 Project Workplan: Read the 2011 Workplan SummaryDownload PDF 264 K to learn more about efforts of the Northwest Carpet Recycling Strategy Project.

Carpet Processors and Key Recyclers Survey: A surveyDownload PDF 509 K was conducted in May to learn the current status and likely future growth of the carpet recycling industry in the Pacific Northwest. Businesses currently or planning to participate in the carpet recycling supply chain were surveyed.

Carpet Processors and Key Recyclers Networking Meeting: In early 2011, King County LinkUp, Seattle Public Utilities, and the Washington State Department of Commerce hosted a networking meeting with carpet processors and key collection/recycling and reuse companies in the Pacific Northwest. The goal of the meeting was to facilitate development of a robust carpet recycling supply chain.

Carpet Stewardship Bill: In response to the introduction of Senate Bill 5110 Concerning Carpet Stewardship in the 2011 Washington State Legislative Session, several agencies involved in the Carpet Recycling Workgroup tracked the bill, provided input to improve bill language, and testified in its favor.

Northwest Carpet Recycling Strategy: The Carpet Recycling Workgroup finalized Strategy and began its implementation in March of 2010.


Business Roundtables: The Carpet Recycling Workgroup sponsored two roundtable meetings/webinars to gather input from businesses on what should be addressed in the Northwest Carpet Recycling Strategy. The first roundtable focused on removal, collection and sorting of used carpet and the second on carpet processing and end markets.

Public Purchasing Meeting: Seattle Public Utilities, with support from LinkUp, hosted a meeting in October 2009 providing an opportunity for companies that manufacture products using carpet-derived materials to present their products to government procurement representatives.

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King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal