Recycled Carpets Can Become a Game Changer for Greener Facility Management
If there is any question about the relevancy of recycled carpeting in your day-to-day life as a Facility Manager, let’s first explore an alarming statistic.
According to The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), workers dump close to 5 billion pounds of carpet into landfills each year. Fortunately though there has been an outgrowth in recyclable carpeting technology and efforts. Manufacturers are now redesigning carpets from the ground up and utilizing recycled PET polyester, wool, and other eco-friendly materials.
Recycled Carpets: Cleaning and Maintenance
Geyen Group states that there are benefits to choosing polyester-recycled carpets: they are stronger and more stain resistant. So, instead of buying the cheapest nylon carpeting for your facility, consider investing in carpets with stronger constructions.
Fred Heckman says that “recycled carpet is actually much easier to clean and dries more quickly than residential jute-backed carpet, in this Q&A on carpet cleaning. The IICRC also states that recycled carpets usually cost less over time to clean and maintain than hardwood floors. In addition, recycled carpets can be cleaned using normal professional extraction methods.
Cost of Recycled Carpeting
Recycled carpets can actually be less expensive in the long run. Natural, more sustainable fabrics can run more expensive at first, but as a reminder, their life cycle is longer.
As this Facilities Net article states, “ongoing maintenance expenses can account for 50 to 70 percent of total costs. The carpet that appears to be a great deal less expensive at first actually can cost substantially more over the course of several years.”
In addition, the California Government subsidizes and promotes recycled carpeting through programs like CalRecycle. This can offset the cost and other fees that may arise with recycled carpets. So, if you choose to incorporate recycled carpets in your facilities, CalRecycle and CARE are incentivizing the eco-friendly option.
Green Initiatives Through Recycled Carpets
Now, as stated by Facilities Net, “the average building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes.” And although recycled carpets won’t boost energy savings, it does establish a “benchmark for greenness” as Karen Kroll suggests in the same article.
This means that more facilities establish a dialogue around more sustainable office places. You can also see this as a “quick win” for sustainability, if you replace small sections of your facility with recycled carpeting.
According to Clean Link, more and more facilities are utilizing sustainable carpet tiles for their high traffic areas. So this is definitely something you should consider as a facilities manager.