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California Sets Carpet Recycled Content Standard

The State of California has established the California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard requiring that all new and most replacement carpet purchased to furnish state buildings after Sept. 1, 2006, must contain at least 10-percent recycled content. The standard also mandates compliance with state indoor air quality guidelines to reduce volatile organic compound emissions from new carpet.

The state purchases some 12 million square feet (ft2) of new carpeting and discards an estimated 5.3 million ft2 annually, the California Department of General Services reports. The new standard is expected to help reduce the amount of carpet sent to California landfills - currently about 840,000 tons annually, representing approximately 2 percent of the waste stream generated in the state.

"With this new initiative, we're hoping to leverage the state's huge purchasing power to encourage competition among manufacturers to develop even better recycling techniques," said Ron Joseph, director, Department of General Services. "We're also hoping that local governments, the business community and private citizens will join the governor's push for a Green California by adopting the same standards."

The new standard will further Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Green Building Initiative, which directs that state buildings built or renovated after December 2004 should meet or exceed the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification criteria.

July/August 2006