How Is the California Carpet Assessment Used?
Posted on November 29, 2018
CARE administers the California Carpet Stewardship Program, which is charged with meeting the requirements for carpet recycling set by the California law AB 2398 (modified in 2017 by AB 1158) and managed by CalRecycle.
AB 2398 is designed to find ways to incentivize the growth of carpet reclamation and recycling and still allow the market to work. The law generates funding to meet its stated goals through an assessment of 25 cents per square yard (increasing to 35 cents on January 1, 2019) of carpet sold in California. California consumers pay the assessment when they buy carpet. Those monies then support CARE’s efforts to increase carpet recycling in California.
The California Carpet Stewardship Program is working to comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements, which include:
- Payment of subsidies at a level to enable continuous and meaningful improvement in landfill diversion via carpet collections and recycling (recycled output)
- Convenient locations for recycling drop off/pick up for all California residents.
- Attaining a 24% recycled output rate by January 1, 2020.
- Public outreach and education.
The funding collected from the assessment is directed to:
- Ongoing subsidies to carpet recyclers and processors, in support of the carpet recycling industry and manufacturing of products made from recycled carpet The subsidies help support capital investments in recycling equipment, materials testing and product development — especially in light of the impacts from China’s National Sword on recycling markets overall.
- Grant funding — CARE has awarded $2.3 million to date for capital investment, product testing, market development and collection projects to establish and expand recycling of California post-consumer carpet. Approximately 90% of those funds were awarded to California-based projects. An additional $5 million in capital investment, new product testing, and collection projects is slated for 2018-19.
- Developing new California-generated post-consumer carpet (PCC) content products, expanding California processing and manufacturing capacity, and encouraging procurement of California PCC-content products by private and government entities.
- Expansion of the carpet drop-off site program, with a goal of establishing at least one site in every county in California.
- Continuing education/outreach efforts to carpet retailers, installers, manufacturers and consumers to encourage carpet recycling.
In 2017, over 85% of assessment funds went directly to these program efforts, including subsidies, grants, marketing/outreach and the drop-off site program. As CARE’s efforts grow, so does the need for funding.
Developing demand recycled post-consumer carpet is key to increasing the recycling rate. The California Carpet Stewardship Program is working to develop markets for recycled post-consumer carpet via grants, technical assistance and promotion. Post-consumer carpet is recycled into fiber material, plastic pellets and calcium carbonate-based filler, which are used in a broad range of products, including carpet, underlayment, commercial mats, insulation and more.
Products containing California-sourced post-consumer carpet are high quality and competitively priced, and contribute to earning credits on LEED projects, among other environmental credentials. Our product catalog also contains information on other relevant product specifications.