Dalton—Differential assessments currently charged on all carpet sold in California are expected to increase on Jan. 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 1, according to the company.
According to CARE, its differential assessment plan is based on two factors:
- Carpet material, as in broadloom vs. tile.
- Percent of post-consumer content, as in greater than or equal to 10% post-consumer content and less than 10% 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 to 10% post-consumer carpet rises from $0.33 to $0.56/square yard, a 70% increase.
- Broadloom with less than 10% post-consumer carpet rises to $0.58/square yard from $0.35.
- Carpet tile with greater than or equal to 10% post-consumer carpet rises to $0.71/square yard from $0.48, a 48% increase.
- Carpet tile with less than 10% post-consumer carpet rises to $0.73/square yard from $0.50.
“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,” said Bob Peoples, executive director, CARE. “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.
According to CARE, 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 said it will continue to supply point-of-purchase material as well as training support materials for sales staff. Retailers are able 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, according to the company. 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.