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Few home-decorating experiences are as satisfying and enjoyable as getting new carpet. It transforms a room with a fresh look and adds a soft, comfortable feel underfoot. But what happens to the old carpet you got rid of? Not so long ago, you could be fairly certain it would end up in a landfill somewhere. The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) states that 5.89 billion pounds of carpet were discarded in the U.S. in 2009. Lately, however, exciting programs are being initiated to find better, more sustainable ways to deal with discarded carpet. CARE is a voluntary, nonprofit effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, various state governments and the carpet industry aiming to increase the amount of recycling and reuse of discarded carpet, and reduce the amount that ends up in landfills. The nonprofit’s goal is to divert 40% of all carpet waste into recycling facilities by 2012. So, instead of a landfill, perhaps your old carpet went to a carpet reclamation center or a recycling facility. Methods of separating carpet components are improving. These components can then be reused to make new carpet, among other things. Some of today’s most stylish and popular new carpets are made from recycled materials, including reclaimed, recycled fibers and plastic bottles. These efforts to reduce landfill dependence and recycle discarded carpet are being undertaken by carpet manufacturers and carpet companies voluntarily — there is no federal mandate. They recognize the need to address sustainability and environmental concerns for the world at large and in their communities. For example, Empire Today (commonly known as Empire Carpet), a national leader in the installed carpet industry, is participating with CARE and has initiated a recycling program in partnership with CLEAR, Carpet Landfill Elimination and Recycling. Since the pilot launch of its recycling program earlier this year, Empire Carpet has recycled more than 6 million pounds of carpet and padding. The goal is to process more than 15 million pounds in the first year alone. The carpet industry is taking important steps to deal with discarded carpet in an environmentally friendly manner. Homeowners and businesses are as well, by choosing carpet made from recycled materials and purchasing from a company that practices recycling. It’s a growing trend that is certain to have a positive impact on the environment. For Over 50 Years, Empire Today®, commonly known as Empire Carpet, has been providing quality, name-brand products at great prices to customers across the United States. Empire Today works with leading manufacturers for its Empire Carpet, Empire Flooring and Empire Window Treatments products, on an ongoing basis, to provide you with an ever-greater range of quality choices for greener and more energy-efficient products, at prices you can afford.