Curbside recycling is the perfect place for plastic bottles and containers, cans, paper and cardboard, but it is no place for your wardrobe. Clothing and shoes put in your curbside recycling bin ends up in the landfill. Many thrift stores will gladly accept gently used clothing and shoes, but what about clothing items that are too worn out?
Clothing/shoes contaminating recycling
Photo by Lesha Earl – Trans-Jordan
Some clothing donation drop-off locations like Goodwill and Big Brothers Big Sisters participate in textile recycling. The fibers from worn clothing are turned into things like yarn, insulation, and carpet padding. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles every year. By donating used shoes and textiles, you are keeping valuable material in circulation and saving space at the landfill.
Another option is finding ways to reuse or repurpose your clothing at home. Use the fabric for quilt squares, craft projects or rags for cleaning. Reduce the amount of clothing you use by selecting high quality material that will last and avoiding fast fashion trends that will quickly fall out of style.