Rug Cleaning Melbourne

Melbourne Carpet Recycling

How do I dispose of my old carpet?

Melbourne carpet recycling is not as simple as you would think.  In this day and age, everyone seems to be aware of environmental issues such as global warming and the need to reduce our carbon foot print.  Given that the average life cycle of carpet is 5-10 years, many new home openers and renovators are opting for more sustainable flooring options. 

We recycle glass, plastics, paper, garden waste, wood, rubber tyres and so on.  However when it comes to old carpet there are fewer options, for recycling.

Business studies in Australia,  have shown an overall decrease in carpet manufacturing over the past five years.  However the boom in the property market has created a higher demand for carpet, from the housing construction sector.  Particularly for multi – unit apartment and townhouse developments.  Which makes me wonder where is all that carpet going to go in 5-10 years time when it needs replacing? 

What happens to the carpet in the properties when they are demolished to make way for these new developments?  Given that about 70% of all floor covering sales in the developed world, are for carpet, what options are available for Melbourne carpet recycling?

carpet recycling MelbourneOptions for Melbourne carpet recycling.

1. Disposal is the least preferred option.  Used carpet is now one of the top 10 landfill items.  Synthetic carpets do not break down over time and woolen carpets do decompose but they produce methane gas during this process.  Methane is a dangerous green house gas, which is the unfortunate by product of landfill decomposition.  Disposal of old carpets at the local tip will incur fees.

2. Reuse old carpet for many different purposes, such as;

  • weed matting in the garden
  • floor mats for your car, home, shed or workshop
  • lining and insulation for the kids cubby house or your work shed
  • pets bedding
  • donate to a charity
  • freecycle
  • donate to family members or friends
  • If your carpet is in good condition you may be able to sell it privately or to a recycling business.  In most major Australian cities there are businesses who buy good quality, used carpet, clean it and resell it.

3. Recycle your old carpets depending on their age, composition and condition.  According to Planet Ark, there is currently no commercial recycling plants for carpet in Australia, even though, most carpet fibres are recyclable. Consumers have become more environmentally aware, therefore, carpet manufacturers are becoming more conscious of their responsibilities.

However, we still have a long way to go here in Australia.  Carpet manufacturers such as Ontera, Interface and Caviler Bramworth, do offer a “take back” system for carpet they have manufactured.  However, only carpet tiles are recycled into new carpet. There is no recycling for broadloom carpet.  Shaw, have a range of carpet made from recycled materials, called Ecoworx.  They offer a guarantee that, when it is time to change the carpet, Shaw, will pick up your old carpet, and recycle it.

Can Melbourne carpet be recycled?

Currently these carpet recycling systems, are only for nylon carpet.  New carpet is made by recycling nylon into yarn, and then reusing it to make new carpet.  Interface, have devMelbourne carpet reuseeloped a new carpet recycling facility, which is the first of its kind in Australia.  Previously they had to send carpet to the USA for processing.  Infra red scanners are now available in Australia and are  used to identify carpet tile fibres.  If nylon is the main fibre, then the tiles are be broken down into their individual components and the nylon is removed and used to make nylon yarn.

The backing is also recycled, however until recently it  still needed to be sent to the USA for processing.  Interface has now opened a new facility to process the backing, here in Australia.  Interface, estimates that they will be able to process around 500-600 tonnes of carpet per year. They have actually taken this a step further by being the first global company to set a goal to be fully sustainable and have zero negative impact on the environment by 2020.  Their newest carpet tile backing is made from 90% recycled material and is 100% recyclable.

There are signs that the industry is looking for new ways of manufacturing carpets so that are sustainable and recyclable.  Cradle to Cradle accreditation is one such way of ensuring manufacturers examine the whole life cycle of a carpet; from source materials to manufacturing, installation and end of life recycling.

In the meantime however, we need to make sure we get the most out of our carpets and maintain them for maximum life span.  Regular, professional carpet cleaning is the best way to maintain your carpet and keep it looking good for years to come.  Please contact us for a booking or any carpet cleaning inquiries.

Black Gold

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Read Comments

Daniel Provorse

07 Oct 2016

I didn’t even think about recycling carpet. It’s great to see this happening though. I actually used to work for a low end housing community and they did buy used carpet that was still in decent shape for replacing the old bad stuff they had. Then again in that same area I found large amounts of carpet that had been dumped off the side of the road. A good recycling system would be great and an idea I just had is taking carpet from 3 diff houses, keeping what is useful and if need be, dye them to match in color. Its an idea.

Black Gold

07 Oct 2016

Thanks Daniel! I have found quite a few places who will take used carpet in good condition and then clean it and resell it, however it is much harder to find somewhere to take carpet that is beyond using again. I am glad that some manufacturers are now taking a cradle to cradle approach. I like your idea about dying carpet from different places so that they match and can be used again.

Gary Jenner

05 Jan 2019

Carpet Recyclers was established in 1988 to help reduce used carpet & used carpet tiles going to landfill, we service all of the Sydney area & have been very successful in helping reduce landfill & to help people who are looking for a cheap alternative option of used carpet or used carpet tiles more costly new, over the last 30 years we have processed 1000’s of mtr2 of secondhand carpet & secondhand carpet tiles, if you are clearing a commercial building of old carpet or carpet tiles & don’t want to pay huge tip fees call us at Carpet Recyclers today, if you are looking to save money & a cost effective way to refit used carpet or used carpet tiles to your project call us or visit our huge warehouse at Bankstown Airport, Sydney,


05 Jan 2019

Thanks Gary, I am sure this information will be very handy for Sydney residents. We love hearing from other businesses committed to helping our environment.


14 Feb 2020

Anybody know if there is a similar company to Carpet Recyclers in Melbourne?

Black Gold

18 Feb 2020

Hi Julie I don’t think there are any businesses in Melbourne like Carpet Recyclers. The closest thing I could find was 1800 GOT JUNK You could give them a call on 1800-468-586 and they do determine if carpet can be recycled and can do so for you – however I think they charge to do this.


26 Jan 2022

I think we as consumers should be asking carpet sellers for solutions… It’s a bit like buying a mattress., retailers are linking consumers to recyclers. We need ask for a full service approach from carpet sellers to remove and recycle or repurpose old carpets before we get a new one.

Black Gold

31 Jan 2022

I agree 100%!

UpShop Industries

04 May 2023

I am looking for ongoing supply of used carpet tiles for our next range of products..prefer 500 x 500 but should be able to adapt some of our concepts to other available sizes. Currently colours are not too important and we will be able to mix and match as time evolves. If you are, or know of a supplier able to assist please feel free to pass on my details or alternatively I can reach out to them.
UpShop Industries designs new product from used materials not suitable for recycling and destined for landfill.
I look forward to hearing from you


Black Gold

18 May 2023

I will keep you in mind if we come across any carpet tiles which are being replaced.


08 May 2024

Are you still recycling the carpets? We actually need some shredded fibres out of old carpets for a project at the university. Can we get some like 4-5 kg?
Kind Regards

Black Gold

09 May 2024

I am very sorry but we do not recycle carpet

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