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Elgin is first Illinois city to offer Simple Recycling curbside textile recycling program

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Elgin is first Illinois city to offer Simple Recycling curbside textile recycling program

Recycling for clothing, textiles and certain home goods will be available for residents that use curbside services in Elgin starting the week of July 10, 2017.

As part of the growing efforts to improve recycling and divert landfill waste, the City of Elgin and Simple Recycling are partnering for this new, easy, and free service for Elgin residents. Acceptable recycling items include clothing, shoes, bedding, linens, socks, other textiles, and accessories. A complete list is available at simplerecycling.com.

The average person throws away 68 pounds of clothing per year. Clothing and home goods account for approximately 10 percent of the municipal waste stream. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, an average of 25 billion pounds of textiles are generated each year in the U.S., of which only 15% is donated or recycled. The remaining 85% goes to the landfill.

Textiles include clothing, footwear, accessories, towels, bedding, drapery and other fabric items. Once collected, textiles are sorted and graded by condition. Top-quality materials are sold to local thrift stores while that which is deemed not resalable in the U.S. is exported as secondhand clothing. The remainder is recycled into rags, fiber for home insulation, carpet padding and textile applications in the automotive industry.

“The city encourages those who donate items to charity to keep doing so. The purpose of this program is provide a convenient curbside option for recycling textiles and household items to those who don’t donate, ultimately diverting landfill waste,” said Elgin Communications Specialist Molly Center. “This service can help keep textiles and home goods out of regular refuse and recycling loads, where they do not see a second life.”

Elgin is the first community in Illinois who has partnered with Simple Recycling. By participating in the program, Simple Recycling creates jobs through collection, sorting and resale of items otherwise destined for the landfill while finding a new life for residents' unwanted clothing, shoes and home goods. This service will be provided entirely by Simple Recycling at no cost to the City of Elgin or its citizens. The service will generate revenue to the City of a penny per pound (or $20 per ton) for materials collected.

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