A Few Basics:
Over 80 billion NEW garments are produced annually, worldwide.
The average person discards 82 pounds of textiles a year
While Recyclers in the Textile Industry are recovering 3.8 billion pounds of textile waste each year, this only accounts for 15% of all textile waste, leaving 85% in our landfills, which equates to 70 pounds per person. The EPA estimates that more than 5.2% of our solid waste stream in the US is occupied by Textile Waste that COULD BE RECYLED, totaling over 13 million tons
Between 1999 and 2009, the volume of textile waste generated grew by 40% and the diversion rate only increased by 2%.
It is currently estimated that this volume will increase by 10 million pounds in 2019.
EPA 2009 Federal MSW waste study 3.8 billion lbs recovered divided by 2010 US Census Population 310 million
EPA 2009 Federal MSW waste study:
Textiles - Reuse & Recycle
Since the days that “Paper, Plastic, Glass” became the staples of the big recycling movement in order to help ensure earth’s sustainability, many more popular items and materials have become important in our world’s pursuit to reduce, reuse and recycle. Items such as computers, ink cartridges, batteries, and cell phones are just a few.
One of the oldest materials that has been recycled and reused probably since the loin cloth days is TEXTILES.
Textiles encompass not only the clothing items you are wearing, but include linens, drapery, towels, wiping cloths & rags, upholstery, and in our recycling world, shoes. Yes shoes, even they can be cut into straps and woven into belts.
Natural fibers take hundreds of years to decompose, and once in the landfill they release methane and CO2 gas into the atmosphere. The more durable textiles made from synthetics, of which petroleum is a main ingredient, are designed not to decompose. In the landfill they release toxicants into the groundwater and surrounding soil.
While our clothing bins play a big part in helping to fund the programs and services Special Olympics provides in the various states we work in, they also play an important part in recycling efforts across the country.
People have an abundance of choices on where to donate & who to donate to, but since the vast amount of textiles still gets tossed out with the real garbage, clothing donation bins play an essential part in providing a convenient option to recycle & reuse textiles.
We are proud that our collection bin program is the best of two worlds;
Providing Valuable Revenue for Regional Special Olympics and Important Textile Re-Use & Recycling.