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How Carpet Cleaners Contribute to Recycling and Solid Waste Management

One of the best arguments for regular carpet cleaning is that doing so helps prolong the life of your carpet, thus cutting down on the need to replace old carpeting with new ones. With the right kind of cleaning techniques, stubborn stains, widespread dirt and grease in carpets, and any bacteria buildup in your current carpet can be successfully removed. When done right, carpet cleaning atlanta company will give you back your carpeting almost as good as new. So, if you have been thinking of replacing old, worn out carpeting with new ones, remember that simply keeping up with regular cleaning and maintenance can cut down on the need to replace your carpets altogether.

One of the advantages of this is the money that you can save from not having to purchase and pay for the installation of new carpets. But one added advantage, and one that isn’t quite as obvious to someone whose main interest is clean and aesthetic surroundings is the fact that you will not be adding further waste into the environment.

recycle

Each year, an estimated 2.2 billion kilograms of carpet goes to landfills. This is still minuscule compared to the total number of waste that we generate annually, but it is still a significant number.

For environmentally-conscious individuals, it may be helpful to know that regular carpet cleaning not only prolongs the life of your carpets, and thus minimizes the need to replace old carpets with new ones, but also that carpets can be recycled. If you do replace old carpeting with new ones, you have the option of recycling old carpeting instead of just throwing them out until they end up in landfills.

Aside from a move towards green carpet cleaning methods, the carpet industry has also made a move towards recycling old carpets. Fibers can be broken down and recycled into new items or products, and in fact, may even be used to create new carpets, in the form of fiber or backing.

recycle sign

The main difficulty is that these moves towards recycling old carpets depend, to a large extent, on the personal initiative of private individuals who own the carpets in the first place. They have a choice between just throwing away old carpets, and of reaching out to recycling centers that accept carpets for recycling.

In point of fact, you can support this move towards recycling in the carpet industry by patronizing carpet manufacturers that use recycled materials in the production of their carpets. Nowadays, there are carpets with significantly lower VOC emissions and are made from fibers derived from corn products and even recycled plastic bottles and old recycled carpets.

The Importance of Proper Waste Management for Carpet Cleaners

The carpet cleaning industry is built upon the capacity of cleaning hard-to-clean stains, dirt build-up, and the overall cleaning and sanitizing of carpets. In order to do this, the most effective carpet cleaning techniques make use of powerful chemicals that can clean, treat and sanitize yards and yards of carpeting in various homes and buildings. Unfortunately, once the process of carpet cleaning is done, there remains the problem of the disposal of wastewater that is the byproduct of the carpet cleaning process.

The reason why the post-carpet-cleaning process is so important, and why it has spurred a recent move towards “green” carpet cleaning methods, is because of the environmental impact that improper wastewater disposal can have on the environment.garbage-can

Because of the kinds of cleaning chemicals used, and the resulting concentration of chemicals, dirt, grit, and waste that comes from cleaning dirty carpets, what results is potentially toxic wastewater. These are non-biodegradable concentrations of waste that can accumulate in a city’s sewer system, which may even potentially result in screening problems in wastewater treatment processes. Sometimes, if such wastewater is improperly disposed of, such toxic wastewater never makes it to treatment facilities at all, but instead is absorbed back into bodies of water such as underground waters, rivers or streams, or back into the oceans without any treatment at all.

The repercussions on the environment are obvious. Not only are these wastes non-biodegradable and likely to persist as toxic substances contaminating bodies of water, but being released back into the environment in this way, whether having undergone treatment processes or not, can be dangerous and possibly even lethal to aquatic life, land and water ecosystems, and even to human life, health and welfare. What, after all, ties all living beings together than our need for water?

scrapyard

Most carpet cleaning wastewater contains highly alkaline chemicals, aggressive enzymes and disinfectants, sodium formulations, dyes, bleaches, ethers, and various other chemicals whose main purpose had been to clean carpets.

If the wastewater resulting from cleaning methods that make use of these chemicals, is improperly disposed of and finds its way into the environment, it can potentially endanger whole ecosystems and the life that they contain. The same is also true for humans, human life, and human health and welfare – particularly if such carpet cleaning wastewater disposal has been “disposed of” within the vicinity of a home or any other well-populated areas like parks, beaches, lakes, etc. One particularly dangerous chemical byproduct is butyl cellosolve, which can potentially damage a human or animal’s central nervous system kidneys, blood and liver.

How Carpet Cleaning Cuts Down on the Need to Dispose of Old Carpeting

Ever since the introduction of easier and faster methods of manufacturing, society has begun to develop what may be termed of as a throw-away culture. When something is old or has seen better days, it is easy enough to throw them away and purchase new ones. This is a far cry from years ago when products that were put into the market were valued as much for their quality as for their longevity and sturdiness.

There are an estimated 4.7 billion pounds of carpet that end up in landfills each year, and which take an estimated 1,000 years to degrade. These days, people are becoming more aware of how a throw-away culture can negatively impact the environment. If the alternative to not having new carpeting when the whim strikes us is that we minimize our environmental footprint, the tradeoff is more than worthy.

eco-friendly

The key to prolonging the life of a carpet is regular carpet cleaning. Regular vacuuming and immediate stain removal are advised, as well as the hiring of professional Oceanside carpet cleaning companies to give your carpets a deep clean at least once every 6 to 12 months.

The following are a few additional points you can use to help prolong the life of your carpet:

  • Use entryway matting

Having entryway matting where people can clean their shoes before entering the room, thereby minimizing the amount of dirt, dust, or mud that gets tracked into the house, can go a long way to keeping your carpets clean and well-maintained.  Make sure that this entryway matting is sufficient to accommodate both feet, and is sturdy enough to withstand constant foot traffic, with the resiliency to collect a good quantity of dirt, dust, and mud.

  • Clean carpets spots and stains immediately

cleaning

Any carpet owner will tell you about the headache that comes from having carpets subjected to wine stains, grape juice stains, vomit, or even pet poop and urine. When those substances get into your carpet, leaving off their cleaning for too long can result in these substances getting buried deeper into the fabric of the carpet, and consequently becoming more difficult to remove. For wine stains and grape juice stains in particular, after some time, the stain itself could become “set,” and become a permanent fixture on your carpet. This is often enough of an incentive for many homeowners to consider getting a new carpet and replacing the old one, regardless of how good the quality of the old carpet still is. Whereas if you clean these stains immediately, and treating them appropriately depending on what kind of stain it is, you have a better chance of getting the stain out completely and permanently, thereby prolonging the life of your carpet.

  • Regular vacuuming

In terms of daily maintenance, regular vacuuming goes a long way in keeping your carpets as clean as possible without resorting to more extensive cleaning methods. Vacuuming on a regular basis is a great way to keep your carpets clean – and can potentially get rid of at least 90 percent of any dirt or dust that tracks into your carpets on a regular basis.

  • Regular professional deep cleaning

It may seem costly for some to have to hire professional carpet cleaners to clean one’s carpets once to twice a year, but the truth is that in the long run, the costs of such carpet cleaning Utah services is still far cheaper than having to replace your carpeting completely.

And aside from the minimizing the potential waste that gets into the environment by keeping your old carpet and not having to throw away yards and yards of old carpet, regular and periodic deep cleaning also helps to maintain the air quality within your home or office.

Deep cleaning methods work by extracting accumulated dirt, debris, grease, soil, and other residue that cannot be reached by regular cleaning methods such as vacuuming. This not only prolongs the life of your carpet, but it also reduces the potential bacteria and allergens that may be kicked up from the carpets and released into the atmosphere of your home.

  • Consider recycling old carpets

If you feel like you have no choice but to replace old, ratty, worn, and ruined carpeting, you might first want to consider recycling methods for old carpets rather than simply throwing them into the trash to eventually wind up on a landfill.

landfill

There are currently some groups or organizations that promote recycling of old carpets, and whom you may want to contact about the possibility of turning your old carpets over to for recycling. Properly processed, old carpets can potentially be used and recycled into new carpet components, as well as other possible recycled products.

In that vein, you might want to help the recycling industry, as well, by patronizing recycled carpets the next time you purchase a new one. In this way, you keep old carpets from ending back into the trash and adding volume to landfill, and you help in the management of resources by patronizing carpet manufacturers that reuse recycled materials rather than harvesting more organic, environmental resources for their manufacture.

How Green Carpet Cleaning Techniques Minimizes Environmental Waste

Traditionally, carpet cleaning methods make use of chemical substances such as soaps, cleaners, detergents, shampoos and solvents to remove stains and give carpets a deep clean. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the use of such substances have had a negative impact on the environment, as there have been marine and aquatic life forms that have recently been found to have ingested carpet cleaning chemicals, with the residue being found within their systems.

The effects of such carpet cleaning chemicals and solutions on wildlife aside, the presence of such chemicals in the environment can also negatively impact the life and health of human communities, as well. Even with the practice of safe wastewater disposal methods, it is always possible that some volume of these substances may find themselves tracking into wells, underground waters, lakes, and other sources of drinking water for humans. As such, recent moves have been focused on eliminating the problem right at the source, and instead of using harmful chemical cleaners and solvents, green methods that carpet cleaning salt lake city company employ, including the use of environmentally friendly carpet cleaners, are being pushed forward instead.

In this article, we look at the advantages of shifting to green carpet cleaning methods and cleaners over the more traditional and chemical based carpet cleaning solutions:

  • Water-based carpet cleaners can keep your carpets clean for longer periods of time

One often overlooked effect of using environmentally friendly carpet cleaners is how doing so may help keep your carpets for longer periods of time than if you were to use chemical-based cleaners. This is because chemical-based cleaners are notoriously difficult to remove completely from the carpet. There is almost always some form of residue that gets left on the carpet, even after numerous rinses with water. This is a sticky kind of residue which you might recognize as having a “crunchy” feel among newly-cleaned carpets. Unfortunately, this residue can also potentially attract new dirt again that you might begin wondering how quickly your carpet becomes dirty after every deep cleaning.

On the other hand, water-based carpet cleaners are comparatively easier to wash away, and they hardly leave any residue that could serve as a magnet for dirt, dust, and grime.

  • Green carpet cleaning solutions help maintain the air quality inside your home

The harsh solvents and chemicals that are used to deal with stubborn stains and dirt in your carpets can be harsh enough to adversely affect your family’s health, too. Even after the deep cleaning process is finished, there is almost always some chemical residue that gets left behind on the carpets. Once foot traffic begins tracking across your carpet again, these chemicals could be kicked into the air to mingle with the air and atmosphere inside your home. These are possible potential allergens that could severely compromise your family’s health.

On the other hand, green carpet cleaning methods make it a point to use organic-based substances or cleaners, ones that are naturally occurring in the environment and therefore harmless to humans and the environment. If you find any of your family members or pets beginning to suffer from dizziness, headaches or respiratory ailments, or even dermatological problems soon after your carpets have been deep-cleaned, you may want to look at the possibility of shifting to more natural cleaning methods and products. If you hire carpet cleaners to do the work for you, interview them regarding the methods and the products that they use. More recently, some carpet cleaning companies have been promoting green carpet cleaning techniques and processes, with specially-formulated products that contain minimal chemicals while still providing effective deep cleaning. You may want to expand your search to green carpet cleaning companies in that case.

  • Green carpet cleaning methods minimize the environmental waste that results from carpet cleaning processes

One great concern that has been recently voiced about the carpet cleaning industry is the potential harm that improper disposal of carpet cleaning wastewater can have on the environment. This is because carpet cleaners that make use of traditional carpet cleaning methods, and traditional carpet cleaning, chemical-based products, will inevitably produce wastewater that contains the harmful chemicals and solvents that were components of the cleaning products, and also all the dirt, grease, grime, and human waste that were removed from the carpet itself using those chemicals. The result is a potentially lethal or toxic wastewater combination whose improper disposal has raised enough concerns among communities so much so that state legislatures have begun to prescribe guidelines for what is considered “proper disposal” of wastewater in the carpet cleaning industry.

On the other hand, if you make use of “green” or environmentally friendly carpet cleaners in the first place, consisting of water-based, organic substances that occur naturally in the environment, these are expected to have minimal or little impact on the natural environment should they find their way into waters and streams.

Wastewater Management in the Carpet Cleaning Industry

It is good industry practice, if you are in the carpet cleaning industry, to put in place proper disposal methods for carpet cleaning wastewater.

Carpet cleaning wastewater can contain potentially hazardous and toxic materials, including bacteria, body fluids, chemical compounds, grease, pollutants, smoke, detergent, solvents, among others, and how you dispose of these materials can greatly impact the environment. Improper disposal methods, by which carpet cleaning wastewater and all the hazardous components they contain, could find its way back into the natural environment, and even worse, into the world’s water systems, have been previously widespread. From there, the potential ramifications expand a hundredfold. Marine life, aquatic life, land and terrestrial-based animals, and potentially even human life and health, are affected. When you factor in how many miles of carpet are cleaned regularly each year, and how many gallons or possibly even tons of carpet cleaning wastewater that that translates into, it is easy to see how such a simple thing as wastewater from carpet cleaning processes can raise such concerns among the environmentally conscious among us.

The problem has become pressing enough that various states have recently issued rules and regulations governing the proper disposal of carpet cleaning wastewater. These guidelines necessarily vary between states, and you will have to check the rules and regulations that are in place in your area if you are in the carpet cleaning business. In general, however, there are broad rules of conduct when it comes to disposing of carpet cleaning waster – the goal is to avoid putting toxic, hazardous or dangerous chemicals or materials into the environment.

The following are general guidelines on how to dispose of carpet cleaning wastewater in a way that minimizes its impact on the environment:

  • Wastewater can be disposed of in drainage systems which connect to a municipal sewer infrastructure

sewage

Potential avenues for disposal, therefore, include the drains of sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.

The reason for this is because sewer infrastructure usually connects to a treatment facility that treats wastewater before the same is returned to the environment.

  • Wastewater should be filtered to remove solids such as carpet fiber and other dirt and debris

water-treatment

This prevents the clogging of pipes when the wastewater is disposed of down drainage systems that connect to sewer infrastructures

  • The filtered carpet fibers and other solids that are removed from the wastewater should be disposed of properly – which translates to solid waste management.

They can simply be put into trash cans for disposal. On the other hand, if there is a possibility that the same carpet fibers and solids may contain toxic or harmful chemicals, then they should also be disposed of accordingly.

  • Carpet cleaning wastewater should never be disposed of by pouring it down storm drains or over open ground.

This raises the possibility that the disposed of wastewater and all the chemicals and wastes that they contain may make their way into natural bodies of water such as underground water or rivers and streams. Many of these bodies of water are sources of our drinking water, and so it is imperative that any contamination be avoided.

  • Stick to environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions or products instead of chemical-based cleaners

This is a way of tackling the problem right from the source, and many have embraced the idea of it. Carpet owners, even professional carpet cleaning businesses, are opting for biodegradable and safe carpet cleaning equipment and cleaners that have little to no harmful or dangerous impact on the environment. The good thing about this approach is that many of these organic cleaners make use of regular household items, and any enterprising homeowner could clean and treat carpet stains herself without resorting to professional services.

If on the other hand, you are dealing with yards and yards of carpet, such as the ones you would find in a commercial establishment, carpet cleaning is best left to the professionals. Look for those that promote environmentally friendly cleaning practices, as well. They usually have specialized carpet cleaners that are environmentally friendly, too.

Another advantage of this approach to responsible carpet cleaning wastewater management is the fact that you are also reducing your family’s exposure to potentially hazardous or dangerous chemicals right from within your home. This is particularly true if the carpet cleaners you hired opted to use strong chemicals to treat your carpets. Those chemicals may often be left as residue on the surface of your carpets, and they can be released into the air once your carpet is once again subjected to foot traffic. As a natural consequence, the health and safety of the air quality inside your home might also become compromised.

The bottom line is, carpet cleaners, despite the seemingly innocuous business they practice, actually carry a high level of responsibility regarding waste management and environmental responsibility. Just think of how many millions of gallons of water are used each day for carpet cleaning, multiplied by the potentially harmful or dangerous chemicals or substances that that wastewater contains, and the social role of professional carpet cleaners cannot be denied.