Textiles Diversion

Getting Textiles Out of the Waste Stream

According to EPA statistics, the average US resident throws away 81 pounds of textiles (clothing, shoes, carpeting, and more) each year.  That adds up to nearly 13 million tons of material being landfilled or incinerated each year.  Only about 15% of used textiles are recovered from the waste stream.  85% of used textiles are wasted.  That’s terrible when you realize that these materials actually have significant value.

Textiles Graph

Even Old Rags Have Value

Wearable clothes in good condition can and should be donated.  They’re the most valuable part of the textiles waste stream.  What many people don’t know, is that even rags and carpet remnants have value, as their fibers can be recycled.

When one of our pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) programs is implemented in a town, textiles donations to organizations like Goodwill typically see a sustained increase of about 18%.  That’s great, but it’s not enough.

Working with Public, Private, and Non-Profit Organizations

WasteZero works with a combination of municipal governments, private companies, and non-profit organizations to help increase the percentage of textiles that are diverted out of the waste stream, and either reused or recycled.  These efforts include development and implementation of:

  • Marketing programs to educate residents and encourage them to donate old textiles
  • Curbside textiles collection programs

These programs can stand alone or be integrated with our existing PAYT programs.  Contact us to explore how WasteZero can help your community get textiles out of the trash.

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