How can I reuse or recycle old carpet?

Old carpetOne of my projects for the summer is to redecorate the attic room – partly because we’ll need an office up there soon but mostly because I’ve been intending to decorate it for the best part of six years now and it’s getting beyond a joke.

Given the “yeah, I’ll do it this year” attitude to decorating it for the past two-thirds of a decade, we’ve not been that careful on the carpet up there – it’s covered in soot (from trips under the eaves), paint (from when I knocked over some tester pots when I was thinking of painting it a couple of years ago) and blobs of plaster (from the proposed decorating moment before that). And it’s a impractically pale colour that was put in at least a few years before I moved into the house.

So… a bit of future recycling planning because we haven’t the room to store it – what can I do with an old, slightly manky carpet?

Best Suggestions

  • Reduce: If it still in good condition – or at least a sizeable part of it is in good condition, offer it on Freecycle to see if anyone else can use to carpet a smaller room.
  • Reuse: Carpet is a good insulator – use it around a compost heap to keep it warm in the winter (warmth helps the composting process) or on the floor of your greenhouse so plants don’t get as cold in frosty weather.
  • Recycle: Depending on what the carpet is made from, you might be able to recycle it – contact your local recycling depot and ask.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

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28 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old carpet?”

  1. Steve says:

    One of our old carpets has been out in the garden for ages surpressing weeds. It’s going to be used again soon as an underlay for our pond liner.

    I would think that synthetic carpets are not ideal for the garden as they will never rot down and the foam backing will break down and get everywhere.

  2. Cathy says:

    If only part of the carpet is ruined, you could use the decent parts to make rugs and runners for around the house.

  3. Mel says:

    wrap the compost box with old carpet to keep it warm!!!

  4. john says:

    Staple or nail it to the sides of sofas for cats to scratch. You’ll probably need an electric power stapler.

    Screw it to walls too.

  5. bev says:

    I’ve got a couple of layers of old carpet on the floor in my greenhouse – it means things aren’t sitting directly on the concrete floor which gets very cold in the winter. It does mean I have to be more careful when watering though.

  6. Cilla says:

    You can use the best bits for a welcoming mat at you front door.

    Or if too good for that then why not offer it on recyle web site for someone else to use it. You can find one through out UK.

    Here is the link

    Hope this helps some.

  7. Wrap it tightly around a cardboard roll or block of wood. Then give it to your cat. They like to scratch things, and this will prevent them from shredding up your sofa.

  8. Amanda Kerik says:

    Tape it to tile floors in the winter – save your feet from the cold and maybe save some heat as well.

  9. Janet says:

    What I have done/doing in an on-going project is makeing indoor rugs out of the old but good carpet round our house.
    I take the best pieces and make a center rug. say maybe a 5×7 size. then I add the other carpet pieces or runners around the main rug and attach each long piece with the strong carpet tape found at hardware stores.This is stronger than duck tape. Of course all the tapeing is done on the back side so the tapy will not be seen. From the top side it looks just like a fancy designer rug. to bind the edges, cut up canves paint drop cloths that are cut in long strips andeither died to match the carpet or can be painted to match. You attach the binding with the glue gun by first glueing on the front side and turning the edge under as you go and than glue the bottom side. I use a glue don’t even have to make the bottom look good just glue it down to stay put. We not only made a wonder rug for under the dining table but even put a round circle out of the contrasting carpet piece in the center and it all looks like an asian rug. It looks very expencive. janet

  10. Anonymous says:

    Carpet burns is a Derby (UK) based company that reuse polypropylene based carpet waste, creating innovative products.

  11. Andrea says:

    An animal shelter I know of uses 1 foot square pieces of carpeting to put in the cat cages. Maybe check out your local shelter.

  12. Wendy says:

    Dog training clubs are often in need of non slip flooring to prevent the dogs slipping.
    I managed to get one reasonable sized piece of carpet for the dog club that we go to, but would welcome some more.

  13. Shorty says:

    Dollhouses are in great need of proper carpeting.=P Donate today!

  14. Olia says:

    Use it in the garden under mulch instead of black paper. It will last you forever.

  15. Olia says:

    Insulate your attic.

  16. We have just developt a way of taking back old carpet tiles and recycling them in to other products,and we our working on a large project in Bristol for 8000m2 that will be taken back .

    to cover the cost of the recycling we our supplying the new carpet of 8000m2

    Paul Driscoll

  17. Bertie says:

    use it on the allotment as pathways?

  18. prem says:

    I have a project in grade 6 about reusing carpets and this helps a lot to me.Thx

  19. Angela says:

    I had a couple of pieces of carpet left over from my new stair carpet I found a local firm that whips the edges to stop it fraying and now use them as rugs. The large piece I had binded in cotton tape looks like its a really expensive rug which it wasn’t.

  20. June nisbet says:

    Good capillary matting for keeping plants moist . Good overhang edging on a small pond as the plants can get their germination roots going if wool.good to overhang into the water so that frogs and bugs can get in and out rather than the smooth frogs hide under the edge which hangs Into the water.

  21. Detective says:

    Place it in your garden, cover with mulch. Old carpet stays in place and keeps longer without ripping than black paper.

  22. Frugal millionaire says:

    When replacing carpet in a room, use old one to your advantage. You can cut it into manageable pieces to fit by the doors, on porches, in a garage, inside dog house, in a shed, in a car, even as paths in a garden. Once they are cut into smaller pieces, they are pretty much washable. Wash them and enjoy using. You can even sew or glue a trim around them to prevent fraying.


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