What CLEAR Carpet Recycling Accepts

CLEAR Carpet Recycling accepts all recyclable carpet. Our goal is to prevent as much usable carpet from ending in landfills. The biggest hurdle we face is obtaining a constant, steady stream of inbound carpet for our recovery crews and machines to process.

While there are limitations to recycling commercial carpet, residential carpet is completely recyclable and accepted willingly by CLEAR.


Carpets must meet the requirements below to be accepted for recycling.

A. Collection sites will accept post-consumer broadloom carpet or carpet tiles.

  1. No carpet cushion, padding, hard surface flooring, etc.
  2. No carpet with rubberized backing.

B. Carpet must be free of trash and debris (e.g. no tack strips, cutting blades, sharps, trash).

C. Carpet must be dry.

D. Carpets rolled, with fiber side out, cut in 6 foot widths, will be ideal for stacking.

E. Carpet cannot be contaminated with:

  1. Body Fluids
  2. Chemical or pharmaceutical contaminants
  3. Asbestos


A. Notify the collection site personnel before discarding any carpet in any trailers.

  1. The collection site personnel may keep the trailers locked and/or supervised.

B. Place post-consumer carpet in trailers designated by collection sites for postconsumer carpet.

  1. Trailers: Fully enclosed, front (end) loading

C. Place only post-consumer broadloom carpet or carpet tiles in trailers.

  1. Use effective packing techniques to maximize amount of material in containers, such as stacking back to front, balancing the load, and loading to the ceiling.
  2. Stack carpet tiles neatly or pack in cardboard boxes prior to placing in container.
  3. Comply with applicable codes, ordinances, rules, and regulations for weight limits.

Preparing Carpet to be Recycled

There are a few simple steps to follow when tearing out carpet that makes it easier for CLEAR to handle it:

  • Carpet should be cut in strips that are 4′ to 6′ wide
  • Carpet strips should then be rolled and either tied or taped
  • Do not include any tack strips, metal or debris of any kind
  • Carpet should be dry and free of any debris
  • It is not necessary to vacuum or shampoo the carpet

Residential Carpet versus Commercial Carpet Recycling

As the flooring industry works to solve the problem of throwing carpet in landfills, different recycling approaches are being taken by companies interested in developing a solution.

CLEAR Carpet Recycling focuses on recovering residential carpet. Commercial carpet has a shorter and thicker pile. The fibers are more dense, which make it hard for CLEAR to process.

Commercial carpet, for CLEAR’s carpet recycling purposes, is either glued-down or adhesive-backed carpet. Because of the recycling process employed to remove the face fiber from carpet, neither of these is suitable for recycling through CLEAR.

Is Your Carpet Commercial or Residential?

We classify residential carpet as any carpet that is installed with carpet pad under it. Even if the carpet is used in a commercial setting, if it has carpet pad beneath, it is likely to be carpet that can be recycled. These installations include:

  • Hotels, Resorts and Inns
  • Residence Halls and Dorms
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Public Housing and Assisted Living Centers

Currently, only a small fraction of carpet that is recyclable is avoiding the landfill. The vast majority, in excess of 90%, goes to landfills and gets buried, where it sits for hundreds of years.

By only slightly changing our habits, we can lower the need for crude oil in the carpet industry. CLEAR wants to make carpet recycling as common as recycling paper or glass.

Acceptable and NOT Acceptable

We accept the following:

  • Clean, dry debris-free residential carpet

We DO NOT accept the following:

  • Commercial carpet
  • Carpet Tile
  • Wet carpet or pad
  • Carpet trims or remnants
  • Foam-backed carpet
  • Indoor-outdoor Carpet
    Glued-down carpet

How-to video for installers on preparing and taking carpet for recycling in California.