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How to Dispose of Carpet

Redoing your flooring? Use our comprehensive disposal guide to help you toss old carpet with ease.

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Rolled up carpets stacked closely together

Carpet Disposal Options for Any Home Project

Carpet disposal doesn’t have to be a hassle. Whether you’re getting rid of carpet because it’s outdated, damaged or you simply want a new look, use our disposal guide for easy tips. Remove your old carpet, then learn how to repurpose it into a useful rug. Remodeling your bedroom? Donate your gently-used carpet or recycle it at a local facility. Keep reading for all the best options to toss piles of carpet during your home renovation.

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7 Ways to Get Rid of Old Carpet

Rolled Up Carpet

1. Sell It Online

While most people don't usually purchase previously-installed carpeting material, you can sell area rugs if they're in good condition. Research local shops that take in secondhand carpet, hold a garage sale or list it online on well-known sites, like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. However, before you create a listing, make sure you clean your carpet.

Rolled up carpets stacked closely together

Tips for Selling Old Carpet Online

Research Prices
Measurement Details
Take Clear Pictures

How to Clean Carpet

Cleaning your carpet, no matter the size, is simple. Follow these steps to prep your rug or carpet for a sale:

  1. Vacuum both sides of the carpet.
  2. If possible, take it outside to drape or hang, then use a broom to gently whack more dust from it.
  3. Look for carpet shampoos designed for the material you have — don’t try to make one yourself. If you don’t know what fibers your rug is made of, just test a small corner section to see if it dulls the color or otherwise damages the carpet.
  4. Lay it down and use a hose or power washer to give it a good rinse.
  5. Grab a sturdy brush and work the shampoo into the carpet by scrubbing it all over the front-facing part.
  6. Let the carpet rest for as long as the shampoo instructions indicate, then hose the rug down again.
  7. After you remove all the soap, use a squeegee or similar tool to rinse out the excess water.
  8. Hang your carpet or rug, or otherwise relocate to a laundry room or garage to air dry. This may take 1-3 days, depending on its size and weather conditions. You’ll know your rug is done if you can no longer squeeze excess water from it and it’s a bit stiff to the touch.
  9. Lastly, vacuum one more time to restore your carpet to its original appearance.

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3. Reuse It in Other Projects

One of the best ways to get rid of carpet from a room is to repurpose it somewhere else. You can cut carpet to use in several different projects or tools around your home. From knee cushions and pet bed padding to doormats and laundry machine pads, there are a variety of ways to put your old carpet to good use.

Person Pulling Up Carpet With Knife

How to Cut Carpet

Cutting your carpet is useful, no matter if you’re trying to sell, reuse, donate or toss it. It is often impractical to handle large portions due to weight and transportation limitations. Here’s how to easily cut carpet:

  1. Put on heavy-duty gloves, then grab a pair of pliers and a utility knife.
  2. Detach the carpet from tack strips by removing the nails with your pliers. You should be able to pull it completely away from the wall before the next step.
  3. Fold the carpet back so the fiber side is down and start cutting with the utility knife. Be careful not to cut too deeply or you’ll cut into the baseboards.
Red Plastic Made From Carpet

4. Find a Local Carpet Recycler

You can get rid of old carpet and padding by dropping it off at your local recycling center. These facilities take carpet and turn it into plastic resin that’s used in a number of useful products for yards, gardens, construction, transportation and even the automotive industry.

Carpet Recycling Tips

Contact Local Recycling Companies
Preparing for Transportation

Get Rid of Old Carpet Today

5. Hire a Junk Removal Service

Although expensive, hiring a junk removal company can solve the issue of handling your old carpet yourself. Their team will come to your home and remove the carpet for you. For an additional fee, some companies will even rip out your carpet so you don’t have to deal with it.

Person Loading Rolled Up Carpet Into Van
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Pro Tip

On average, carpet and padding together weigh 5-10 pounds but can weigh as much as 22 pounds per cubic foot. Keep this in mind when you hire someone to throw it away for you or rent a dumpster to toss it yourself. The additional weight could cost you more if you use a junk removal company or an overage fee if you overload your dumpster.

Rolled Up Carpet on Side of Road

6. Curbside Collection

If you don't have a ton of old carpet to throw out, consider the convenience of bulk pickup. Check with your city about collection days and any limitations — you may have to wrap it in plastic, for example. Also, be sure not to leave carpet out in bad weather.

7. Rent a Dumpster

If you have piles of old carpet to dispose of, a residential dumpster rental can be a huge advantage. Take the stress out of trying to fit your rolled carpet into your vehicle to take to the landfill. Curbside collection limits bulky items and you may be forced to wrap each roll before they’ll accept it. Rather than dealing with the hassle, get a roll off dumpster so you can load it all on your timeline — it’ll be picked up when you’re done.

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Pro Tip

Consider covering your dumpster with a tarp to keep discarded carpet dry in the bin. This will prevent it from absorbing rain and adding extra weight to your debris.

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Tossing More Than Old Carpet?

Choose a construction material for detailed disposal options.

Lumber & Wood Lumber & Wood Tile Tile Pallets Pallets
Flooring Flooring Scrap Metal Scrap Metal Concrete Concrete
Shingles Shingles Insulation Insulation Paint Paint

Carpet Disposal FAQs

How much does carpet weigh?

Can old carpet cause health problems?

Is it cheaper to remove carpet yourself?

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More Debris Removal Resources

Tossing more than just carpet? Check out our useful articles and blog posts to learn more.