Don’t Throw Out that T-Shirt, Recycle It!

Better to recycle than throw away clothes!
Better to recycle than throw away clothes!

Tucked inside a supplement in last week’s Gazette was a fascinating story about what happens to the clothes we don’t want. A photo of bales of compacted used clothing each weighing half a ton was taken at the Salvation Army Donation Center in Springfield.

I remember in the market in the Dominican Republic a gigantic mound of tee shirts, this is where many of the poor got the shirts on their backs. But there is another level….after we give them to Goodwill, after Goodwill ships that container to the DR, there are others that are too dirty and ripped even for the poor. These are in the bales, which were headed for Canada.

We have a problem with the trash we throw away….a staggering figure in last week’s WSJ said that the metal alone that could be recovered could equal more steel than Detroit needs. These big bales of clothes are sent out each month, more than 120,000 pounds at a time.

Landfills and towns around the Valley are encouraging people to donate even their rattiest, most ripped textiles, instead of throwing them in the landfill. They will make excellent yarn, insulation, carpet padding or sound proofing!