LEA Guidance: Carpet Recycling Activities

A company or individual that receives used carpet for processing and/or recycling is subject to California’s solid waste regulatory requirements found in Title 14, California Code of Regulations (CCR). These requirements are directly enforced by local enforcement agencies (LEA).

Used carpet is considered construction and demolition debris (C&D debris) under Title 14, CCR, section 17381(e).

Businesses or individuals that receive these materials for processing and/or recycling are subject to Title 14, CCR, Article 5.9, Construction and Demolition and Inert Debris (CDI) Transfer/Processing Regulatory Requirements, or Article 6.0 Transfer/Processing Operations and Facilities Regulatory Requirements.

A solid waste facility permit is required for most carpet recycling activities. Carpet recycling activities are regulated in “tiers,” based on the maximum amount of material received per day. See the list below (Title 14, CCR, section 17381.2).

Recycling centers and CDI recycling centers that pass the following three-part test are not subject to solid waste facility permitting requirements:

  1. The material has been separated at the point of generation.
  2. The residual [1] is less than 10 percent by weight of the amount of debris received at the site, calculated on a monthly basis.
  3. The amount of putrescible wastes in the C&D debris received at the site is less than 1 percent by weight of the amount of debris received at the site, calculated on a monthly basis, and the putrescible wastes do not constitute a nuisance, as determined by the LEA.

Permit Regulatory Tier Placement for Carpet Recycling Activities

  • Not Subject to Permitting Requirements
    • CDI recycling center–section 17381.1 [2]
  • EA Notification Tier
    • Small-volume CDI debris processing operation (less than 25 tons per day)–section 17383.4
  • Registration Permit Tier
    • Medium-volume CDI debris processing facility (25 tons per day to up to less than 175 tons per day and less than 40% residual)–section 17383.5
    • Medium-volume transfer/processing facility (60 yd3 or 15 tpd ≤ x <100 tpd)–section 17403.6
  • Full Solid Waste Facility Permit Tier
    • Large-volume CDI debris processing facility (175 tons per day or more)–section 17383.6
    • Large-volume transfer/processing facility–section 17403.7

LEAs should conduct site visits to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether the activity meets the three-part test. Refer to existing guidance: Methodology for Determining Compliance with the “Three-Part Test” of Transfer/Processing Facilities and Operations Regulations (LEA Advisory 58).

During site visits, LEAs should request to review records for:

  • Quantity of materials received on a daily basis (tons per day and/or cubic yards)
  • Amount of material recycled on-site
  • Amount of materials processed for overseas shipment
  • Amount of residual generated from both on-site recycling and processing for overseas shipment
    • If records are in cubic yards, ask for the conversion factor.

LEAs should also consider:

  • The source of materials delivered to the site
  • Methods for processing materials
  • The amount of materials stored on site at any given time
  • The amount of time material is kept at the site prior to removal off site (disposal, overseas shipment, or in-country shipment)

CalRecycle maintains a list of current known operations that receive carpet for recycling.

[1] “Residual” means the solid waste destined for disposal, further transfer/processing [as defined in Title 14, CCR, section 17402(a)(30) or (31)], or transformation which remains after processing has taken place and is calculated in percent as the weight of residual divided by the total incoming weight of materials. 

[2] Material storage time limits are applicable per Title 14, CCR, section 17381.1(d). 

For more information contact: LEA Support Services, PermitTrainingAssistance@calrecycle.ca.gov