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Web Exclusive | November 2016

American residents urged to recycle textiles

Americans are being encouraged to go for recycling of textiles. After celebrating “America Recycles Day”, and awaiting the upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday season, the Re-Clothe NY Coalition, a group of governments, recyclers and non-profits across the state, has requested local residents to donate and recycle unwanted clothing and other household textiles by bringing them to the closest collection location.

“New York State residents trash an estimated 1.4 billion pounds of recoverable clothing and textiles annually, with a market value exceeding $130 million,” says Andrew Radin, chair of the New York Product Stewardship Council. While 15 per cent of household textiles are reused or recycled, over 95 per cent of all used clothing, footwear and other cloth household products – including sheets, towels, curtains, blankets, and pillowcases – can be recycled, including clothing that is torn, missing buttons, or has broken zippers or a few stains.

The Re-Clothe NY Coalition represents one of the first public-private partnerships of its kind and size in the US. “Approximately 40 percent of donated clothing is reused for its original purpose, helping those in need by offering them free and low-cost clothes, shoes, and linens,” says Dan Lilkas-Rain, chair of the Re-Clothe NY Campaign for the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling and recycling coordinator for the Town of Bethlehem.

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