Recycle, Don’t Throw Away Clutter
Netflix’s original series, “Tidying Up with Marie
Kondo,” has encouraged households to clear their closets of excess clothing and
de-clutter their homes. But, what should the public do with the unwanted items?
The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) urges
consumers to “Donate, Recycle, Don’t Throw Away!”
“’Tidying Up’ has sparked much joy here at SMART,”
says Jackie King, executive director of the association. “It’s encouraging for
us to see thousands of households working to clear their clutter, but we want
to ensure recyclable items are disposed of properly.”
The association advises more clutter can be
recycled than you may think. For example, most textile items should not be
thrown away. These textiles include not just clothing but also towels, bedding,
curtains, purses, stuffed animals and more. As long as they are clean, dry and
odor-free, meaning they are free of mold and have not been contaminated with
solvent-type liquids such as Goof Off or gasoline, they have a use within the
textile recycling industry.
According to SMART, the average U.S. citizen throws
away 81 pounds of clothing each year, despite the fact 95 percent of them can
be recycled. Of those 81 pounds, only a small portion are properly disposed of,
leaving 85 percent, or 26 billion pounds annually destined to end up in
landfills. Meanwhile, recycling textiles saves the environment by reducing
greenhouse gases – the equivalent of removing 1.3 million cars from America’s
highways per year.
To help reduce textile waste, SMART suggests looking for a clothing donation bin in your neighborhood. These donation bins are often managed by SMART members who follow a strict code of conduct and divert billions of pounds of used textiles and other household waste from landfills each year.
Additionally, SMART recommends checking with your
favorite local charity or thrift store about collection locations where
textiles can be dropped off. Organizations like Goodwill, Salvation Army, St.
Vincent De Paul, Savers or other thrift stores will recycle any textile that is
not sellable in their stores.
Businesses inspired by” Tidying Up” can also play a
part in reducing the textile waste stream.
“Our SMART members assist in recycling large
quantities of textiles like misprinted t-shirts and old linens from hospitals,
prisons and hotels,” says King.
To learn more about textile recycling and for additional resources, visit www.smartasn.org. Please direct media inquiries for SMART to Andrea Lynn at 410-420-2001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 1932, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association
(SMART) is an international nonprofit trade association that strengthens the
economic opportunities of its diverse membership by promoting the
interdependence of the for-profit textile recycling industry segments and
providing a common forum for networking, education and trade. SMART members use
and convert recycled and secondary materials from used clothing, commercial
laundries and non-woven, off spec material, new mills ends and paper from
around the world. SMART member companies create thousands of jobs worldwide,
proving each day you can make money by being socially responsible