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Hochul signs carpet recycling bill

Jan 03, 2023 12:39 am

Rick Karlin reports in Times Union that Gov. Kathy Hochul last week signed a law making carpetmakers responsible to develop and enact plans for recycling their products. Carpet manufacturers will have to establish programs for the collection and recycling of discarded and unused carpeting now, instead of those products being sent to landfills or incinerators. But the law does not kick in until January, 2026. Then, carpet sales in New York will be prohibited unless the manufacturers have an approved plan for recycling or have established their own program for carpet collection, approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. Carpets are usually made with synthetic, petroleum-based fibers such as nylon, polypropylene, and polyester. Carpeting is one of the most difficult household items to get rid of, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The group's lawyer, Eric Goldstein, said of the measure, “This new law provides another piece of the puzzle needed to handle waste more sustainably and take a bite out of the climate crisis.” New York's action will only make a small dent in the more than 3.9 million tons of carpet and rugs discarded annually in the U.S., unless other states adopt similar measures. But California adopted a carpet recycling program in 2010, and New York is now the second state to mandate recycling carpet. New York will only recycle 30 percent of carpet in the next five years, and 75 percent in 15 years. The Carpet and Rug Institute opposes mandated recycling, warning about “carpet bureaucracies” and hidden taxes on consumers. Read the full story in the Times Union.

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