We all know the drill: reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s the way we live because, hey, we’re Ithaca. But when you’re sorting through clothes you don’t need anymore, what do you do with items that Mama Goose and other resale stores can’t accept? The shoe without a pair, the worn completely through sweater, the stained beyond all recognition t-shirt, what will become of them? You think they’re beyond the point of donation because who else could possibly want them? And so, not knowing where else to turn, under cover of night with the shades drawn, you throw them out. Alas! Your secret shame. You feel like you’ve let down the planet in some way, but what else were you supposed to do!?
As it turns out, the answer is to donate them anyway! Donation centers like the Salvation Army, Thrifty Shopper, and outdoor donation bins, only sell about 20% of the clothing and textiles they receive. As for the rest, there is actually more recycling to be done. Click on the picture below to enlarge it and read more about how those donations are used. Your recycled linens could end up abroad or being made into carpet padding… neat!
November 15th is America Recycles day and New York State is making a real push to encourage textile recycling. (Because, let’s face it, we’re already masters at recycling paper products, glass, and plastic). If you want to know more, here are some helpful links:
List of Recyclable Textiles: Some of the things on this list are really surprising. Even stuffed animals? Even Dish cloths?! As long as everything is dry and odor-free, it seems like every textile is fair game.
Textile Recovery/Donation Centers: These are all the places you can donate within 10 miles of Ithaca. If you’re reading this from afar, not to worry, just put in your zip code and get a list of donation centers near you. On November 15th and 16th only, Tompkins County is also hosting events at our food scrap drop off locations where there will be more information about all kinds of recycling, and special activities and giveaways.
Click below to learn more about America Recycles day and New York State’s textile recovery campaign. And, next time you’re faced with ripped jeans you don’t want anymore, make Mama Earth proud and “Clothes the Loop!”