Equestrian Arena Surfaces – Use of Waste Carpet (Update!)

Further to previous posts about using waste carpet as an equestrian arena surface, the Environment Agency (EA) state that they have withdrawn the Low Risk Waste Position allowing waste carpet to be used in the manufacture of equestrian surfaces for the following reasons :
– ongoing research into persistent organic pollutants and their presence in post-consumer waste carpet,
– concerns over micro-plastics in the waste stream and their fate in the wider environment,
– examples of abuse of the position, such as poor quality post-consumer shredded carpet being applied to land
– Management of the equestrian surfacing containing shredded waste carpet at end of life
This means surfaces containing waste carpet should not be laid after 17 June 2021 without the proper regulatory controls being in place, which might (for example) mean a permit with specific controls on how the waste is used and characterised as suitable for that use.
The EA say they are working with the Carpet Recycling Industry and Equestrian Surface Providers to ensure the risk from this waste stream is properly understood, the waste is properly managed and that the right regulatory controls in place based on that risk.
Unfortunately, this does not deal with existing waste carpet arena surfaces so we have asked the EA for clarification on this point. We will let you know when we have any further information.