The average American dumps about 70 pounds of textiles (clothing, old carpets, etc.) into landfills each year. Donating items is indeed the best way to ensure reuse. If major thrift stores get clothing that’s too ratty to resell, the cloth gets converted into things such as industrial rags or sound-dampening material.
Your favorite charity may also have a need. Locally the Delaware County SPCA has a wish list of items posted on line. Some of most appreciated items are towels, blankets and sheets! Those cats and dogs waiting new owners find comfort from your cast offs.
Recycling carpets is a serious pain because it’s so difficult to separate their materials. Some 3 million tons of carpets are dumped each year, with only about 5 percent recycled or reused. Outfits such as the Carpet Recyclers can extract and recycle carpet components. Go to carpetrecovery.org for more information.