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.
- Textile Recycling
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.
- Beyond the Bin
Search by type of material and your location to find out where in Massachusetts to recycle, reuse, or repurpose items that don’t belong in your household recycling bin.
- Clothing & Footwear Manufacturer & Retailer Take-Back Programs
A growing number of companies accept unwanted or worn-out apparel and shoes for reuse and recycling.
- Earth 911
Locate nearby places to recycle many household materials - including clothing, linens and shoes.
- How & Where to Recycle
Find out how to recycle a range of materials, including unwanted or worn-out textiles, in your city or town.
- Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles (SMART)
Trade association that promotes the reuse and recycling of used clothing, fibers and wiping materials.
- Textile Recovery Media Toolkit
Developed by Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles (SMART) and the Council for Textile Recycling (CTR) for MassDEP, these materials include a media relations guide, collection event handouts and public communication templates for cities and towns promoting textile recovery and recycling.
- Article: Holey Socks, Not in the Trash!
Circulated by the South Shore Recycling Cooperative.
- 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.
- 2017 MassDEP Textile Recovery Webinar
Play back the entire online session, which was presented on January 12, 2017. You will need to provide your name and email address before viewing the webinar.
- Complete Presentations from 2017 Textile Recovery Webinar file size 6MBPresentations from MassDEP, the City of Lowell and the Greater New Bedford Refuse Management District on planning, coordinating and promoting successful community textile recovery programs, including resources any municipality can use.
- 2015 Massachusetts Textile Stakeholder Summit
Hosted by MassDEP, this meeting brought public, private and non-profit stakeholders together to discuss opportunities for increasing recovery, reuse and recycling of post-consumer textiles.
- 2011 Massachusetts Textile Reuse & Recycling Summit
The first textile recovery, reuse and recycling summit hosted by MassDEP.
- 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.