Senator Brian Kavanagh announced that the Carpet EPR bill (S5027C/A9279A), which he sponsored along with Assemblymember Steven Englebright, was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. The new law requires carpet manufacturers to establish a program for the collection and recycling of discarded and unused carpeting.

Starting in January 2026, carpet sales in New York will be prohibited unless the manufacturers are participating in an approved industry-wide plan for recycling or have established their own program for carpet collection, approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The new legislation establishes carpet recycling performance goals that the industry is required to achieve over time once the programs are approved. The first goal is for 30 percent of carpet recycling in five years, with at least 10 percent of the recovered materials being used as recycled content for new carpets. The final goal, to be achieved by the 15-year mark, calls for 75% carpet recycling, with at least 40% of recovered materials being used as recycled content for new carpets.

“With this new law, New York takes a very big step forward in our goal of reducing waste and promoting a circular economy,” said Sen. Kavanagh. “Every year, hundreds of millions of pounds of carpet and carpeting materials are dumped in landfills and the dangerous PFAS chemicals in these carpets continue to negatively impact our health. This law will lead to a reliable mechanism for consumers to safely and easily recycle their carpet waste and ensure that instead of going into landfill, this material will be recycled into new carpets as well as other products. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for signing this crucial legislation, Assemblymember Steve Englebright for his sponsorship in the Assembly, and the many advocates who have worked with us for many years to see this program enacted.”

New York State generates about 515 million pounds of carpet waste annually, less than 1% of which are recycled. There is existing demand for more than 90% of the materials in recycled carpets, but government action is needed to spur the creation of systems for collection, transportation and processing of these materials. This legislation also prohibits the sale of carpeting containing hazardous PFAS materials after 2026. PFAS are linked with serious health harms in both children and adults, including impaired neurodevelopment, immune system dysfunction, hormone disruption, and cancer.

The extended producer responsibility (EPR) program required by this new law has the potential to increase carpet recycling in New York State to 25% within four years, add hundreds of jobs, and save more than $4 million per year in waste disposal costs.  Increasing the recycling rate to 25% would reduce CO2 emissions by about 165,000 tons per year, equivalent to taking 32,000 cars off the road.

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