Massachusetts residents and businesses dispose approximately 230,000 tons of textiles annually. About 95 percent of this material could be reused or recycled instead of thrown away. Learn what the state is doing and what you can do to keep clothing, footwear, bedding, curtains - even stuffed animals - out of landfills and incinerators, and to extend their useful lives by putting them in the hands of new owners or recycling their fibers into other products.
Used Textiles: A Valuable Resource
MassDEP fact sheet describing how textile recycling benefits our economy, environment and society.
Facts and figures from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)
Waste Combustor Class II Recycling Program Waste Characterization Data Profiles, June 2012
Nearly six percent of the waste delivered to Massachusetts combustion facilities for disposal is made up of clothing, curtains, towels and other fabrics. See Page 8: Textiles.
- Clothing & Footwear Manufacturer & Retailer Take-Back Programs
A growing number of companies accept unwanted or worn-out apparel and shoes for reuse and recycling.
- Council for Textile Recycling
Non-profit organization devoted to creating awareness about keeping clothing, footwear and textiles out of landfills.
- Recycling in My Community
Check to see if your Massachusetts town or city provides opportunities for recycling unwanted or worn-out textiles.
- Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles (SMART)
Trade association that promotes the reuse and recycling of used clothing, fibers and wiping materials.
- Article: Holey Socks, Not in the Trash!
Circulated by the South Shore Recycling Cooperative.
Collection Event Flyer Template
Developed by Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles (SMART) and MassDEP.
Ordinance: Regulating Public Donation Collection Bins
Adopted by the City of Quincy in February 2012.
Post Card Mailer
Distributed by the Town of Abington.
- Public Service Announcements for TV & Radio
Developed by Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles (SMART).
Case Study: Weymouth Public Schools Textile Recycling Program
A unique program that not only raises funds for local schools, but educates the community about the environmental benefits of keeping textiles out of the trash.
- The Green Team
An interactive MassDEP educational program that empowers students and teachers to help the environment through waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation and pollution prevention. Participating classes receive certificates of recognition and are eligible to win awards.
- Wear it? Recycle It!
Lesson plans and other materials for teaching and learning about textile recycling from Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles (SMART) and The Education Center.
Massachusetts Textile Recycling Summit
Summary of a meeting that brought public, private and non-profit stakeholders together to discuss opportunities for increasing recovery, reuse and recycling of post-consumer textiles in September 2011.
- News Release: MassDEP Announces Initiative to Boost Textile Recycling
Joint announcement with Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles (SMART) in November 2011.
Presentation: Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) Textile Recycling Workshop
file size 1MB
Overview of MassDEP activities, initiatives and programs from April 2013.