Donate don’t Trash Household Clothing and Textiles

Anticipating a wardrobe change? Looking to change up your seasonal linens and towels? The Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative (HRMC) advises, “donate don’t dispose of unwanted textiles”. Worn or torn, faded or fashionable, these materials have value to local, regional and global businesses for resale, wiping cloth manufacturing, and conversion to insulation, carpet backing and other secondary uses.

According to MADEP, Massachusetts disposes of approximately 230,000 tons of textiles annually. 95% of which could be reused or recycled instead of being thrown away.

MADEP has recently issued their final 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, which establishes a goal to reduce trash disposal by 30%. Among MADEP’s strategies for reaching that objective, is a plan to expand their current waste bans by adding textiles to the list of materials banned from disposal in Massachusetts. This waste ban change becomes effective November 1, 2022. HRMC encourages residents to become part of the solution to reduce textile waste NOW!

Textiles aren’t just clothing. Think: shoes, belts, bags, sheets, rugs, pillows, stuffed animals, and more! Contrary to popular belief, textiles in any condition, including stained, ripped, missing buttons or with broken zippers can be reused or reclaimed by donating them to collection bins or charitable organizations. Only moldy or wet items or items contaminated with hazardous substances are unusable.

Many think of donations to charitable organizations or thrift stores, as the end of the line for their unwanted clothing and textiles, but it doesn’t end there. When you donate old clothes, hats, shoes, handbags, bedding and other textiles to charities and businesses, they sort and re-sell the reusable goods. The lesser quality items are passed along to companies that depend on them as manufacturing feedstock.

When you donate textiles instead of trashing them, they take on value in the textile recovery chain, supporting jobs, and providing access to used goods for the needy. Not to mention the environmental benefits of less trash and a smaller carbon footprint. It’s very important to remember NOT to place textiles in your town’s recycling bins or carts. Always keep textiles separate from household recyclables and donate them at a convenient location. All HRMC member-Towns have Salvation Army Bins at their transfer stations. HRMC serves the towns of: Ashfield, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, and Worthington.

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