Tag Archives: textile recycling

New Rochelle’s Elementary Schools Recycle 2,000 lbs of Textiles In 3 Months.

New Rochelle’s Webster and Columbus Elementary Schools are extending their sustainability efforts beyond their successful lunchrooms. We Future Cycle introduced Textile Recycling through Spin Green as a fabulous fundraiser and both school principals eagerly embraced the initiative.

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According to the EPA, Americans discard 13.1 million tons of textiles per year and there is only a 15% recycling rate. Many people give nice things as hand-me-downs away, but what to do with the stained T-shirt, the holed toddler jeans or –gasp– the underwear with the rip……?  Easy…recycle them in our Spin Green Textile Recycling Bin.

unnamed (7)We parents know how fast children grow and what clothes look like after a few months on an active child, but instead of discarding them into the trash, consider supporting the schools by donating them into their recycling bins. Any dirty sock, ripped sheet, old stuffed animal can go, anything that is clothy. Even shoes, sleeping bags, old blankets.

Once donated the textiles go one of these routes.

  1. The re-use avenue where usable clothes are sorted out and sold through second hand clothing stores or thrift shops.
  2.  The recycle avenue where the clothes are sorted according to material and then shredded down for its fiber to be used as rags or as stuffing for car seats and other applications.

goodwill_12smDiscarded textiles come with a huge price tag to society. They account for 4.9% of the municipal waste.

For Westchester, with its 2,000 tons/day garbage about 100 tons are discarded textiles EVERY DAY. At around $80 per ton tipping fee (which is just the cost to dump the load onto the incinerator floor, no transportation or labor cost are included yet, and of course no secondary cost such as road repair or environmental consideration), tax payers are footing an $8000.00 bill every day to make a resource -literally- disappear into thin air.

To learn more about the footprint of textiles here is a very interesting article.

The textile industry, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is the 5th largest contributor to CO2 emissions in the United States, after primary metals, nonmetallic mineral products, petroleum and chemicals.

The textile industry is huge, and it is a huge producer of greenhouse gasses.  Today’s textile industry is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gasses (GHG’s) on Earth, due to its huge size. In 2008,  annual global textile production was estimated at  60 billion kilograms (KG) of fabric.  The estimated energy and water needed to produce that amount of fabric boggles the mind:

  • 1,074 billion kWh of electricity  or 132 million metric tons of coal and
  • between 6 – 9 trillion liters of water

Thanks to Melissa Passarelli and Sonia Nunez, students of Columbus and Webster are learning about the importance of recycling textiles.

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Larchmont /Mamaroneck Zero Waste Initiative Recommends We Future Cycle School Recycling Program

payt_epa_logoOn December 9th, 2014 representatives of the Village of Mamaroneck, Village of Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck were listening to a very informative and well structured presentation by the Columbia  University Masters in Sustainability Capstone Program. The kick off was a presentation by Mitch Green, Town Liaison, explaining how this presentation came about and thanking the Capstone team for choosing Larchmont/Mamaroneck as their project.

0514_boltanskiThe team then laid out the “have and have nots” of the towns, slides showed the percentages of yard waste, curb side recyclables recovered, as well as total garbage collected.  The towns are already exceptionally well positioned with a 63% recycling rate, which is the combination of yard waste and curbside recycling. The goal however is getting to 90%. The team showed several areas of opportunity, which are comprised of textile recycling, food waste composting, “Pay-as-you-throw” and getting the schools involved. carpet-waiting-to-be-recycled

The team outlined that schools and the children within them are the key to changed behavior and their recommendation is to get the We Future Cycle Program into the schools to start that process. Parents learn from their children, as much as the other way around.

The 100+ page report will be posted as soon as it becomes available.