Carpet Removal & Recycling – the Ultimate Guide
Carpet removal is a common problem for lots of us. Here is our great guide to the ways you can responsibly dispose of your old carpet and /or any packaging and offcuts and how much it might cost and how to avoid paying more than you need to.
- What are the main carpet removal options?
- How much do retailers charge for uplift and disposal?
- Can my carpet fitter dispose of my old carpet?
- Can I dispose of carpet at the tip?
- Do councils accept carpets in their bulky waste collection service?
- Can I put carpets in a skip?
- Can I put carpet in a skip bag?
- Will a Man & Van collect my carpet?
- Can I reuse carpet?
When you have a new carpet fitted or fit it yourself, you or the fitter will need to remove the old carpet (unless it’s a new build), any offcuts, underlay and usually some gripper rods and packaging. There are a number of ways you can dispose of this stuff, including asking your carpet fitter or retailer if they’ll dispose of it for you, using the local council’s bulky waste collection service, taking it to the tip or trying the reuse/donation route.
Some carpet retailers offer a carpet removal and recycling service if you buy a new carpet through them. The services they offer can vary quite a lot – some retailer’s service includes both uplift and disposal, whereas others are just disposal.
Below is a table comparing the services offered by the UK’s major retailers. To give a general idea of the costs, we’ve included the price for an average-sized living room in the UK (17.02m2).
UK retailers carpet removal charges (July 2021):
|Carpet retailer||Cost per sq metre||Est cost of avg living room (17.02m2)|
|Carpetright||£3.49 (uplift + disposal)||£59.30|
|Tapi Carpets||£4.00 (uplift + disposal)||£68.00|
|Flooring Superstore||Don’t offer service||N/A|
|SCS||Don’t offer service||N/A|
If you want to uplift the carpet yourself, check out our step-by-step guide to carpet uplift.
Carpet fitters will normally remove your carpet for an additional fee. You’ll need to make sure that your fitter has a waste carriers license which you can check on the Environment Agency’s website. If they don’t have a license, it’s illegal and you’d be held responsible if the waste isn’t responsibly disposed of.
You can expect to pay between 50p to £1 per sqm for carpet removal according to Job-Prices.co.uk. Some fitters charge by square meter, others will give you a price for the whole lot and often, fitters will include the price of recycling with uplift.
If you’re a householder with a car, you can dispose of your carpet at the local tip. This is the cheapest option because HWRC’s rarely charge for disposal. However, it is worth checking beforehand if the site charges and if they accept carpets because different tips accept and refuse different materials. In most instances, particulalry if it’s very clean unused carpet (ie. offcuts) the likelihood of your carpet being recycled is reasonably good.
Handy tip: put down sheets or some kind of covering underneath the carpets so you’re not left with carpet fluff in your car.
Another carpet removal option is to use you council’s bulky waste collection service. This isn’t free, but it is subsidised so it’s usually cheaper than hiring a private contractor, however the wait times are longer.
Make sure to double check that your local council accepts carpets.
Carpets can be put in a skip, but this option is only worth considering if you have enough waste to fill a skip. The cost of hiring a skip varies depending on where you live, the size of the skip and whether or not you require a skip permit. So, if you don’t have enough waste for a skip, you’re much better off using a man & van who will only charge for the amount of waste they remove rather than a set price for a skip.
If you’ve bought a Hippo bag, you can dispose of carpets this way too. It’s worth asking for a quote from a man & van as sometimes their collection prices are cheaper than a crane lorry collection. Also, they’ll leave you with the bag for reuse. Check out average skip bag collection prices.
You can hire a man and van waste contractor to collect your carpets. Man & van teams normally have the fastest response times and cost less than a skip. Plus, your waste can be collected from anywhere on the property, so if you don’t have space for a skip it’s a great option.
If your carpet is in good condition, you might be able to find someone interested in taking it off your hands. You could ask friends and family if they want it, or you could advertise it online on websites such as eBay, Freegle, Freecyle and Facebook Marketplace.
Other ways you could reuse your carpet include gardening, mats or offcuts. If you’re a keen gardener, your carpet can be used to stop weeds growing on your paths or vegetable patches. All you need to do is place the carpet upside down and cover it with bark mulch.
Animal shelters often accept carpets to use for animal bedding and cat scratching posts so if you’re interested in this option, contact your local shelters.
Finally, any offcuts or leftover carpet can be placed underneath furniture to prevent any damage to your new carpet or flooring. Alternatively, you could use leftover carpet to make rugs or carpet runners for your house.