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New York State Launches Textile Recycling Program

New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3), in partnership with the Council of Textile Recycling (CTR) and the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), is launching a statewide textile recovery campaign on America Recycles Day, Nov. 15, 2014.

The Textile Recovery campaign combines the public, private and non-profit organizations’ efforts to motivate New Yorkers to divert their unwanted textiles from the waste stream through recycling. Eight collectors across New York State will accept textiles spanning clothing and coats to linens and towels, as well as footwear, belts, handbags and stuffed animals.

New York State Department of Environmental Conversation reported that roughly 1.4 billion pounds of clothing and textiles are disposed of in the state each year. The three organizations have estimated that the market value of the discarded items is more than $200 million, and that over 9,000 jobs would be created across New York State if those items were collected, reused and recycled.

NYSAR3 said, “Given the enormous social, economic, and environmental benefits that textile recovery has the potential to create, our campaign aims to educate New Yorkers about the reuse/recyclability of the various textiles they dispose of and give them the tools they need to find the most convenient drop-off locations nearest them.”

Donated goods will be sorted by charitable organizations for resale, and by for-profit companies which will guide them to the appropriate reuse/recycling stream. SMART estimated about 40 percent of the items will be reused for their original purpose. Some companies will ship the used clothing to regions in Africa, Europe, Central and South America and Asia. About 30 percent will be cut into industrial clothes, while a quarter of goods will be reduced to fiber at mills.