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You CAN Donate Ripped And Stained Clothing



 
Summer is coming.  Are you switching out your winter for summer clothes?  What do you do with clothes you will no longer wear or that don’t fit? 
 
There are MANY bins around that will accept old clothing.  Salvation Army, Goodwill, New England Clothes Recycling, plus various charities such as The Wish Project.
 
If your clothes are in good condition, donate them to a charity like The Wish Project .  These charities give clothing straight to people who need it.  They must be in wearable condition – no stains or rips.
 
So what do you do with items that are torn, broken in some way or stained beyond help?  DONATE THEM to Salvation Army, Goodwill or the (cream colored) NE Clothing Recycling bins around town.  These organizations work with members of the textile industry to recycle everything possible.  Members of the nonprofit trade association SMART (Secondary Materials And Recycling Textiles) include companies that work with used clothing, wiping materials (rags) and the fiber industry.
 
SMART members purchase excess textiles from charities and other collectors of clothing.  They then sort and grade the clothing based on condition.
 
 
  • 45% is generally exported to lesser developed countries where demand is high.  We were told by a member of SMART that many people in foreign countries will purchase this clothing, fix it, then resell it to make a living.
  • 30% become wiping and polishing cloths unused in commercial areas.
  • 20% is reprocessed into fibers for furniture stuffing, upholstery, insulation, yarn etc.
  • 5% is unusable and gets, truly, thrown out.
The EPA estimates that the average person throws away 70 lbs of clothing annually.  My guess is that most of that comes from children!  They outgrow items very quickly or are tough on them causing stains or rips.
 
The generic term textiles is used to mean any clothing, fabric, sheets, towels, etc.  According to EPA, textiles made up 5.2% of the waste steam in 2010.  Of this waste, only 15% is recycled in some way.  That means there is a lot of room for improvement.  The other 85%, making up over 11 million tons of clothing, could be recycled.  It may not seem like much given that it is a small percentage of the total waste.  But think about the jobs it creates along the way, the money charities can raise, and the energy that is saved because new items aren’t being made.  And it’s easy!
 
We want the public to know all clothing andhousehold textiles such as tablecloths, sheets, shoes, belts, and stuffed animals can be recycled.  As long as the items are clean, even if they are stained or damaged, there is a recycling use for the material,” says Larry Groipen, SMART President and President of ERC Wiping Products (Lynn, MA).  
 
MassDEP  didn’t know these statistics until recently. Last fall then began working with SMART to get the word out that ALL textiles can be recycled in some way.
As long as they are dry, clean and free from mildew or hazardous materials like oil or paint.
 
Where do you recycle clothes?
 
Photo on top used under Creative Commons license by Alvimann/Flickr

This post was shared at Green Sisterhood

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Where to Recycle Clothes And Shoes


SPRING!  I love feeling the warm sun, hearing birds sing and seeing the flowers bloom.  I also love cleaning out the closets!  Putting away the boots, snow pants, heavy jackets and sweaters!  And cleaning out what I know won’t fit next year.  But where do you take the stuff?  Whether you are willing to take them to a specific location or want the convenience of putting them out on your door step, I have an option for you.


Good Condition 

The Lowell Wish Project is a local organization that helps those in need in the Merrimack Valley area.  Donations go directly to the individuals who request them through their social workers or other agencies.  For this reason, the items donated need to be in good condition.  They have needs for clothing for babies through very large adults. Normally Lowell Wish only needs casual clothing, however with Easter coming, they will accept dresses and suit through April 23.  Lowell Wish accepts many other items including blankets, sheets, mattresses, furniture, and baby gear.  See their website for full details.
 
Drop off at 1 A Foundry St. Lowell  Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat. 9am – 2pm, 

The WFN is accepting CHILDREN’S (baby thru teen) clothing for their Spring Clothing Sale.  The sale will be part of the Roudenbush Town Wide Yard Sale on the Abbot School Lawn On April 30.
 
Where: Locations around Westford – 45 Pleasant St., 13 Depot St. , 47 Providence Rd. , 15 Villanova Dr.

Big Brother Big Sister works to provide children with one-to-one friendships with adult mentors.  Your donations are sold to thrift stores.  The money supports their many programs. BBBS accepts many items including stuffed animals, toys, small appliances and more.
 
Where:  Your house.  BBBS will pick up donations.  See website to arrange a pickup.

Priceless Prom (Prom and Bridesmaid Dresses)
Priceless Prom helps girls find dresses for the Prom.  They accept Prom and Bridesmaid dresses  within the 3 year fashion range.
 

Suitability  (Women’s Professional Clothing)
Suitability is committed to helping women become self sufficient and economically independent. They provide interview clothing, free of charge, for women applying for positions at any level.  Clothing must be ready to wear.
 
Where: 536 Pawtucket Blvd, Lowell;  By appointment.  Call 978-934-8898.

Not So Good Condition 

Re-purpose Clothing into:
  • Cleaning Cloths – Cut up old T-Shirts or other appropriate material to use in place of a paper towel.  They work so much better.
  • Reusable Napkins – I made my children tie dye T-Shirts years ago. When they outgrew them, I just couldn’t get rid of them.  So I cut them up and made napkins.  Now, when I wipe my mouth, I smile.

Public Clothing Drop Boxes
Once you are set on napkins and rags, you can drop unwearable clothing at the Public Clothing Drops around town.  I had a hard time confirming this, but it is my understanding that the company who owns these bins sorts the clothes.  The wearable ones are sold to thrift stores.  Unwearable items are sold in bulk to companies that shred them for other uses.

Where:  Old Nab Preschool, Abbot School

Flip Flops 
Old Navy has teamed up with TerraCycle to upcycle old flip flops into playgrounds.
  
Where: Collection bins at Old Navy through May 21st.

Running Shoes  
Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program takes any brand old, worn out athletic shoes and recycles them into playground surfaces.  
Where: Nike Outlet at the Wrentham Outlet
Converse Community Store North Andover


Have You Started Cleaning Out?  Do You Try to Donate or Repurpose what you can?

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