Wall-to-wall carpet can trap allergens and other environmental contaminants, such as stain repellents and pesticides tracked in from outdoors. When young kids play close to the ground, where contaminants often settle, they can more easily absorb them. The Healthy Home Project house was filled with old carpet, running from the first floor to the third. The rainbow of colors from the 60’s and 70’s included lime green shag, dark brown, blue, and a green/cream combo.
When the flooring team removed it all, they uncovered horse-hair padding in some rooms, which means some of the carpeting was easily 50 years old. That would have been an allergy nightmare in our household! Instead of heading for the landfill, I called an innovative carpet recycling company, so that it can be made into new products. The CarpetCyle website states:
“With more than 2.5 million tons of carpet discarded each year and landfill capacity declining, there is a social necessity and responsibility to recycle and reuse carpet. In addition to reducing the burden on landfills, carpet recycling and reuse provides other benefits… Carpet is a petroleum-based product. It is estimated that carpet recycling programs can save more than 700,000 barrels of oil per year, conserving 4.4 trillion BTUs of energy. Energy savings translate into reduced pollutants as well, minimizing air and greenhouse gas emissions.”
The photo here shows the trailer filled with our house-full of carpet, ready to be sent to the recycling facility. With it gone, we can all breathe a bit easier, and start on the next phase of renovation.