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Knitting / Apparel

Council For Textile Recycling Promotes Apparel Recycling

The Council for Textile Recycling (CTR), a Bel Air, Md.-based nonprofit organization devoted to raising awareness about the importance of eliminating textile waste from the solid-waste stream, has launched a website, located at weardonaterecycle.org, to promote the recycling of post-consumer apparel and other textiles regardless of their condition.

"Our goal is to have zero post-consumer textile waste going into landfills by 2037," said CTR Chairman of the Board Eric Stubin. "In the United States the average person discards 70 pounds of their old clothing, shoes and household textiles in their local landfill each year. We're educating people that clothing and textiles are among the most recyclable items in their home."

According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, more than 25 billion pounds of clothing and household textiles were generated in the United States in 2009, with that amount projected to increase to more than 35 billion pounds by 2019. Currently, more than 21 billion pounds — amounting to 70 pounds per person — are discarded in U.S. landfills, where they take up 5.2 percent of total landfill space. Only about 15 percent of post-consumer textiles are recycled. Total post-consumer textile waste increased by 40 percent between 1999 and 2009, while the total of diverted textile waste rose by only 2 percent.

"For the first time ever, all segments of the clothing industry including consumers, manufacturers, charities, retailers, and recyclers have been brought together," Stubin said. "If consumers, municipalities and the apparel industry implement, promote, and market, 'Wear. Donate. Recycle' we will significantly divert more post consumer textile waste in the years to come."

January 3, 2012