Resident recycling carpet in the dedicated container at South Access Road Reuse and Recycling Centre
Published date: 7 May 2024

Carpet recycling rolled out in north London after trial success

North Londoners have recycled enough carpet to cover the football pitches at both The Emirates and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following the launch of a successful trial.

In its first five months of operation at South Access Road Reuse and Recycling Centre (RRC) in Waltham Forest, the specialist scheme has collected 26 tonnes of carpet - measuring 15,000 square metres.

It will now be rolled out to both Hornsey Street in Islington and Summers Lane in Barnet.

The trial, which was launched by North London Waste Authority (NLWA) in November 2023, involved carpets being intercepted before they were placed in the general waste bin at the RRC. Those which met the accepted specification were put aside to be sent for processing and split into categories based on material.

Dedicated containers will now be installed at the participating sites for residents to place their old or unwanted carpets in.

Wool and nylon carpets can be turned into insulation, padding for mattresses, sleeping bags, backpacks and even coats. Polyester and polypropylene carpets can be used for plant pots, plastic bags, garden furniture or wheelie bins.

Chair of NLWA, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said: “Carpets are extremely difficult to recycle and certain types can even contaminate a whole load and cause it to be rejected. That is why it was really important to carry out this trial carefully in a controlled way.

“We’re delighted that it has been such a success and we’re now able to roll it out long term across further sites for the benefit of even more north Londoners, who we know share our passion for protecting the environment and preserving resources.

“We will continue to seek out specialist recycling opportunities like this to manage materials more efficiently, support the circular economy and tackle the climate emergency.”