Overview of California's Carpet Stewardship Program

As an extended producer responsibility recycling program, manufacturers (either individually or through their stewardship organization) design and implement their own stewardship program. This means there is a stewardship organization that prepares and implements a plan to reach certain goals, finances and distributes funds to support the stewardship program, and reports to CalRecycle on their progress. CalRecycle's role in the carpet stewardship program is to review and approve plans, check progress, and support industry by providing oversight and enforcement to ensure a level playing field among carpet manufacturers. Other service providers participate in the management system as negotiated with the stewardship organization.

Stewardship Plans

The stewardship plan plays a very important role in the program because it defines a compliant program and communicates a course of action to stakeholders and the public. Stewardship organizations (or individual manufacturers that are not represented by a stewardship organization) are responsible for submitting Plans. CalRecycle-approved plans are posted on the CalRecycle carpet webpage.

Financing and Incentives

California’s Carpet Stewardship Law states that the amount of the assessment shall be sufficient to meet, but not exceed, the anticipated cost carrying out the plan. In the approved California Carpet Stewardship Plan, the initial ($0.05) per square yard assessment was approved to remain through 2016. However, on December 28, 2014, CARE submitted and CalRecycle approved an Addendum to its approved Plan. This addendum provided justification for additional program incentives and enhancements to help the Program achieve compliance and CARE requested an increase in the Program assessment from $0.05/square yard of carpet sold in California to $0.10/square yard effective April 1, 2015. In an effort to meet the statutory requirement of continuous and meaningful improvement in the rate of recycling and diversion of postconsumer carpet, CARE submitted on November 30, 2015, its Addendum #3 to the approved Plan. CARE requested an increase in the Program assessment from $0.10/square yard of carpet sold in California to $0.20/square yard effective April 1, 2016. CalRecycle authorized CARE to increase the assessment to $0.25/square yard, starting January 1, 2017, per Addendum #3. CARE presented an increased assessment of $0.35/square yard in its Revised California Carpet Stewardship Plan 2018-2022, which was conditionally approved by CalRecycle on October 16, 2018, and fully approved on February 20, 2019. The $0.35/square yard assessment became effective on January 1, 2019. This provision continues for the duration of the program, unless it is changed through a Plan update that is approved by CalRecycle. For further information, visit CARE's website.

CARE receives funds and is responsible for operating the stewardship program. Most of the funds will be used to support and encourage more recycling through an incentive program. The Plan explains how funds will be distributed and the incentives available to certified recycling processors. Visit CARE’s website for specific information on how to become a certified processor and how to apply for these funds.

Compliance and Enforcement

Maintaining a level playing field among manufacturers is addressed through a combination of civil penalties for noncompliance and transparency that allows all stakeholders and the public to evaluate progress. For manufacturers to be in compliance, they must participate in an approved plan and demonstrate achievement of recycling rates and other goals included in an organization's plan.

Manufacturers that are covered under CARE's program are in compliance so long as CARE's program is in compliance. Here is a List of Compliant Manufacturers and Brands.

If a manufacturer is not on the current list and its product is sold in California,  the manufacturer is out of compliance. A manufacturer must come into compliance either by joining an existing carpet stewardship program or by submitting a carpet stewardship plan to CalRecycle. CalRecycle may impose penalties against non-compliant manufacturers. 

Retailers shall sell carpet that is compliant, in others words, those on the list of compliant manufacturers/brands. Retailers also must show the amount of the assessment on the customers receipt or invoice, see an example in the California Carpet Stewardship Plan. Civil penalties are further described in the regulation (see Section 18945).

Collection Sites

CARE, CalRecycle and Earth911 provide information on the growing number of carpet and carpet pad collection facilities and processors. This information changes so it is advisable to contact facilities directly for the latest on what materials are accepted, what is not accepted, fees, and hours of operation.

Carpeting and floor coverings are defined as construction and demolition debris in Title 14 CCR and must be managed according to State Minimum Standards for Solid Waste Handling and Disposal. Additionally, CARE offers guidance on carpet handling and storage.

Market Development

Once old carpet is collected and turned into a new raw material, it is used to manufacturer new products. This is referred to as "market development". CARE encourages market development through its education and outreach to entrepreneurs, and it encourages research to enhance program activities. Both the California Carpet Stewardship Plan and annual reports discuss market development activities. CalRecycle provides information on the technical aspects of carpet materials to assist those wanting to learn more about reuse, recycling, and the use of carpet materials in new products.

Buying Carpet

Whether choosing carpet for your home or as a finish for a larger construction project, there are a number of factors that can confuse even the most seasoned contractor. See CalRecycle's Carpet Buyers page for more information.


CARE, its partners and other stakeholders are developing a variety of educational materials to assist and help inform stakeholders. Below are some resources.

  • California Carpet Stewardship Plan: Provides examples of materials designed to educate consumers about the carpet stewardship law.
  • CARE website provides information by stakeholder group, for example, CARE provides retailers with a presentation, sample invoice, and consumer education materials, such as point-of-purchase brochures, signs/placards and window cling.
  • Prepping Carpet for Recycling: This sample brochure explains how to prepare carpet for recycling. While specific directions and costs/discounts vary from location to location, it provides general instruction that apply everywhere: keep carpet free of debris, dry, and roll it prior to drop-off. Carpet is managed separately from carpet pad so keep them separate. Many carpet collection facilities do not collect carpet pad.
  • Stacking a truck trailer: This video shows some of the ways old carpet is made into new products and then focuses on the proper way to stack carpet in a truck trailer.
  • Rural Counties Pilot Project: Initially, six California counties participated in a pilot program for carpet recycling. After the successful completion of the pilot program, and in an effort to meet the regulatory requirement of providing reasonably convenient opportunity in each county to manage their post-consumer carpet, the rural counties program was made permanent and expanded. Currently, there are nineteen rural counties participating in the program. Below are links to some educational materials from this program:
    • Guidelines that cover prepping carpet for recycling collection.
    • Brochure for the Humboldt County program.

Results and Benefits

Annual reports must be posted at the CalRecycle website as required in AB 2398 and include information on amounts of carpet sold, postconsumer carpet recycled, ultimate disposition of collected carpets, program costs, an evaluation of performance and how to improve it, and examples of educational materials. Additionally, CARE provides quarterly updates on amounts of California carpet collected and its recycled output. Benefits and results are posted on-line.

Additionally, the CARE website provides access to their annual reports, which has information on carpet recycling efforts nationwide.


Visit CARE's website for information on the implementation of AB 2398 and Frequently Asked Questions. CARE can be reached at:

Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE)
P.O. Box 6184
Dalton, Georgia 30722
United States of America
Phone: 706-428-2127
Send in Questions