Differential assessments currently charged on all carpet sold in California are expected to increase on January 1, 2023. California law requires CARE, as the carpet stewardship organization for the state, to implement a differential assessment on each square yard of carpet sold that reflects its cost burden to recycle. The assessment increase has to be approved by CalRecycle in a process that will take some weeks, however carpet retailers in California should prepare now for the increase that will go into effect on January 1st.

CARE’s differential assessment plan is based on two factors: 1) carpet material, as in broadloom vs. tile, and 2) percent of post-consumer content, as in greater than or equal to 10 percent post-consumer content, and less than 10 percent post-consumer content. The new assessment amounts will replace the current amounts that went into effect on April 1, 2022:

  • Broadloom with greater than or equal to10% post-consumer carpet rises from 33 to 56 cents/square yard, a 70% increase.
  • Broadloom with less than10% post-consumer carpet rises to 58 cents/square yard from 35 cents.
  • Carpet tile with greater than or equal to10% post-consumer carpet rises to 71 cents/square yard from 48 cents, a 48% increase.
  • Carpet tile with less than10% post-consumer carpet rises to 73 cents/square yard from 50 cents.

“This assessment increase undoubtedly is a serious burden for the approximately 2,000 California carpet retailers and the 79 carpet mills with operations in the state,” noted CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples. “The increase is necessitated by rising costs – as experienced in multiple industries today – exacerbated by declining carpet sales, the funds from which support carpet recycling operations in the state. This comes at a time when the California Program has achieved remarkable results in terms of carpet collection and recycling; the assessment increase is necessary to continue the progress and to meet the challenging goals for the Program that have been set by CalRecycle.” The Program attained a record 31.7% recycling rate in Q2 of 2022 and typically recycles approximately 76% of carpet collected.

Carpet retailers in the state are advised to begin preparing immediately for the point of purchase changes that will be needed to collect the correct, updated assessment from customers. Carpet mills are responsible for advising retailers on which products qualify in terms of post-consumer content. CARE will continue to supply point of purchase material as well as training support materials for sales staff. Retailers are encouraged to visit the CARE website for the latest developments.

The California carpet stewardship legislation (AB 2398, 1159 and 729) is designed to find ways to incentivize the growth of carpet reclamation and recycling and still allow the market to work. The law (AB 2398) generates funding to meet its stated goals through the assessment on all carpet sold in California. California consumers pay the assessment when they buy carpet. Those monies then support CARE’s efforts, including subsidies paid to recyclers, grants to expand capacity and collection, technical assistance, market development and outreach to increase carpet recycling in California.

For more information, visit www.carpetrecovery.org.