Seattle-area residents diverted almost 4.5 million pounds of clothing and shoes from landfills in 2012, the textile recycler USAgain announced today.
That amounts to 1,007 garbage trucks of clothing. It also saved more than 25,000 cubic yards of landfill space, nearly 31 million pounds of carbon emissions and more than 6.1 billion gallons of water in 2012.
Nationally, USAgain, a for-profit clothing recycling company, diverted nearly 58 million pounds of unwanted clothing and shoes last year that would have otherwise been thrown into the trash and ultimately buried in landfills.
“This was a major accomplishment in curbing the negative impact that irresponsible textile disposal can have on our environment,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “More people are beginning to realize and understand the environmental benefits in seeking a convenient way to having their old clothing recycled and re-used instead of throwing it in the garbage.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans discard 85 percent of unwanted clothing and shoes into the trash each year, amounting to more than 11 million tons of textiles that get dumped in landfills.
“Considering 85 percent of all textiles end up in landfills, all of us need to do a better job of looking for ways to recycle and re-purpose clothing,” Wallander added. “But when zero-cost recycling options like USAgain and charitable organizations are accessible and convenient, we can have a positive impact on the environment.”
The 58 million pounds of clothing that USAgain recovered would fill 13,257 garbage trucks. It would also fill 52 football fields – or one football field a week – 1 yard deep with reusable material. Overall, USAgain saved nearly 332,000 cubic yards of landfill space, conserved 406 million pounds of carbon emissions and spared 81 million gallons of water in 2012.
“Textile recycling isn’t just a trend we’re noticing in one specific part of the country,” said Wallander, noting USAgain’s growth throughout the nation during the past year. “Recycling habits are catching on nationwide.”
USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry with corporate headquarters in West Chicago, IL. – is a for-profit company that recycles and resells reusable clothing and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. In 2012, USAgain was awarded an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau. It maintains more than 10,000 collection boxes in 18 states and has nearly 200 employees. For more information, visit www.usagain.com.