The Illinois Carpet Recycling Working Group (CRWG) is a collection of solid waste agencies, counties, and carpet collectors, processors, retailers, installers, manufacturers and construction and demolition facilities. The Group is dedicated to advancing carpet recycling in Illinois through infrastructure building, partner collaboration, program implementation, policy, and education and outreach efforts.


  • October 2012: SWANA-Land of Lincoln Chapter held a summit on carpet recycling at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, with over 80 attendees. A round table discussion on barriers and solutions resulted in a Carpet Recycling Action Plan, which formed ongoing goals for carpet recycling in Illinois.
  • February 2013: SWANA President, Walter Willis, engaged private sector and carpet industry to join the Carpet Recycling Working Group in a partnership approach to increase carpet recycling in Illinois. Co- chairs, Jennifer Jarland and Cameron Ruen, were assigned to the group.
  • March 2013: The 25-member CRWG continues to meet monthly. The group has implemented a Plan of Action found at
  • June 2013: Several members of the working group presented in a Carpet Recycling session at the IRA/SWANA Joint Conference in Normal, with over 40 attendees.
  • July 2013: Website launched with a wealth of information on carpet recycling as well as a list of current public drop-off locations.
  • August 2013: Subgroups established: Education & Outreach; Increasing Collections; Legislation & Policy; and Best Practices and End-Market Development.
  • November 2013:  Carpet recycling session at the ILCSWMA conference in Starved Rock.
  • January 2014:  Carpet Stewardship Act legislative bill filed, now up to 6-7 sponsors.
  • February 2014: End Market Development & Best Practices Report complete.
  • March 2014: CRWG’s one-year anniversary.
  • May 2014: Toolkit for local government program managers complete.
  • June 2014: Carpet Recycling Toolkit session at the IRA/SWANA Joint Conference
  • June 2014: Illinois Product Stewardship Council (ILPSC) formed.
  • February 2015: Carpet Stewardship Act legislative bill filed: SB 1433
  • April 2015: IL Carpet Recycling Stakeholder Group convenes lead by Senator Melinda Bush to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of carpet recycling by identifying strategies and tactics to increase the diversion and recycling of post-consumer carpet diversion and recycling. 

Barriers and Solutions

  1. Need higher volume of carpet to be diverted from landfills to recyclers.
    Increase Collection/ Create Public Drop-off Locations
  2. The shipping distances are too great, and therefore expensive to send to processers.
    Increase Collection/ Create Public Drop-off Locations
  3. The problems associated with landfilling carpet and the benefits of recycling carpet are not visible to the general public. In many cases, it is easier to landfill carpet than recycle it. Therefore there is a lack of incentive to recycle, along with a lack of funds to create incentives.
    Education & Outreach, Website, Speakers Forums, Policy, Legislation
  4. PET has limited recycling opportunities in Midwest markets and is used in multifamily and residential applications. It has a short lifespan of 3-4 years, is practicably non-recyclable, but is growing in market share due to its lower cost versus nylon based carpeting.
    End-Market Research & Development, Policy, Legislation
  5. Not all types or components of carpet and padding are recyclable, ie. rubber padding, PET carpet. Collections contain a quantity of contamination, ie. wet carpet, duct tape, tack strips, plastic.
    Education & Outreach, Policy, Legislation
  6. Need to create a market for recycled carpet, to close the loop.
    Internal Policy

Contact SWANA-IL

SWANA Land of Lincoln Chapter
2037 P.O. Box 2037
Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60138
Email the President

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