Carpet industry to pay $1 million for recycling failures

The stewardship organization representing carpet manufacturers - Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) - will pay the state of California by June 15, 2021, "$1,175,000 in penalties for its repeated failure from 2013 through 2016 to meet recycling and landfill diversion goals under California’s Carpet Product Stewardship Law," according to a March 30, 2021 CalRecycle news release. Under law, a carpet stewardship organization "shall not expend funds from the assessment to pay penalties."

California landfills an estimated 1.2 billion pounds (627,926 tons) of carpet each year. From 2013 through 2016 California’s Carpet Product Stewardship law required the CARE to make continuous meaningful improvement to carpet recycling. CalRecycle launched an initial enforcement action against CARE in March 2017, citing the group’s repeated failure to demonstrate continuous meaningful improvement in carpet recycling rates and other program goals: the carpet recycling rate went down, from 12.2% in 2013 to 10.9% in 2016.

While California is the only state with a carpet EPR law, according to Resource Recycling, four states are considering carpet EPR bills this year: Minnesota, Illinois, New York, and Oregon.