Businesses and residents in New York City have recycled over one million pounds of waste textiles, including clothing, bed and bath linens, and kitchen accessories through the city’s specialized reuse program called re-fashioNYC.
A program is the result of a collaboration between the city’s Sanitation Department and the non-profit group Housing Works. The re-fashioNYC program started in the spring of 2011, and provides bins throughout the city where individuals and businesses can donate unwanted clothes, shoes, blankets, and other textiles.
All donations are processed through the Housing Works operations plant. Of the collected waste materials, close to half are resold in Housing Works Thrift Shops retail locations and the remainder are sold to manufacturers looking for recycled textile materials.
It is estimated that close to ten percent of all waste generated in the New York City area is textile materials that could be resold or recycled. The re-fashioNYC aims to lower that percentage by providing opportunities to recycle while contributing to the public good.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When we think of recycling and waste reduction we often think of bottle and cans, paper and plastic. While textiles may not contribute as significantly to the overall waste stream, if you’re putting them in the trash then you’re paying to dispose of them! A savings of up to ten percent every month certainly adds up!