Environmental Protection

Waste Solutions Company Shares Why Recycling Textiles Is Smart

Since 2005, Textile Waste Solutions of Santa Barbara has been working with the city of Santa Maria, Calif., to reduce the number of textiles in landfills. According to the company's website, the partnership has recycled an average of 1.2 million pounds of textiles per year. The company, founded by Christopher Mkpado in 1995, plans on building more partnerships with California cities.

To encourage more recycling, the company lists 10 reasons why recycling textiles makes sense.

Top 10 Reasons to Recycle Textiles

  1. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 97 percent of post-consumer textile waste is recyclable.
  2. By simply donating all of your used textiles to participating thrift stores, you can help to significantly reduce the burden on our landfills.
  3. Over 70 percent of the world's population uses secondhand clothes, so your old clothes can be used to help people in need.
  4. By recycling textiles you benefit your local community by creating local jobs that generate local tax revenue.
  5. Textile recycling companies work closely with charitable institutions to find new homes and uses for old clothing and fabric items, thus reducing the operating costs for thrift stores and freeing up funding to house, feed, and train the less fortunate.
  6. Textile recycling requires less energy than any other type of recycling.
  7. Textile recycling does not create any new hazardous waste or harmful byproducts.
  8. Unwearable textiles can be reused as rags by paint stores, machine shops, auto shops, government, business and industry.
  9. Unwearable textiles can be converted for industrial uses such as noise reduction or upholstery.
  10. Each new home that is built uses 100 pounds of rags ─ isn't it preferable that these be locally generated recycled material that was saved from a landfill?

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