MassDEP Textile Recovery

Learn what the state is doing and what you can do to keep clothing, footwear, bedding, curtains and other textiles out of landfills and incinerators. Help put them into the hands of new owners or recycle their fibers into other products.

Table of Contents

News & Updates

October 2021

MassDEP issued its final 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, which establishes goals to reduce disposal statewide by 30 percent (from 5.7 million tons in 2018 to 4 million tons in 2030) over the next decade. It sets a long-term goal of achieving a 90 percent reduction in disposal to 570,000 tons by 2050. 

Among its strategies for reaching these objectives, MassDEP will expand its current waste disposal bans by:

  • Adding textiles and mattresses to the list of materials banned from disposal or transport for disposal in Massachusetts, and
  • Lowering the threshold on commercial organic/food waste to facilities generating more than one-half ton of these materials per week.

These changes require amendments to the 310 CMR 19.000: Solid Waste Management Facility Regulations, which will have an effective date of November 1, 2022.

See Additional Resources below to learn more.

Additional Resources for News & Updates

Textiles by the Numbers

Nearly a Quarter-Million Tons Amount of clothing, shoes & other textiles Bay Staters throw away each year.

Across Massachusetts:

  • Residents and businesses dispose of approximately 230,000 tons of textiles annually.
  • About 95 percent of this material could be reused or recycled instead of thrown away.
  • Nearly six percent of the waste delivered to combustion facilities for disposal is made up of clothing, curtains, towels and other fabrics.

See Additional Resources below to learn more.

Additional Resources for Textiles by the Numbers

How & Where to Recycle Textiles

Do you have clothing, shoes, or other textiles that you no longer wear or use, but still have plenty of life left in them? Don't throw them away!

Use the MassDEP-supported Beyond the Bin Recycling Directory to search by type of material and your location to find out where in Massachusetts to recycle, reuse, or re-purpose items that don’t belong in your household recycling bin.

Or, bring or mail unwanted clothing and shoes to stores or manufacturers that accept them for recycling.

Manufacturer & Retailer Take-Back Programs
Clothing Footwear

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) maintains this list for consumer convenience. Inclusion on this list does not constitute or imply MassDEP endorsement of a company or its take-back program. This information was last updated in November 2021.

Additional Resources for How & Where to Recycle Textiles

Textile Recovery Media Toolkit

Developed by the Secondary Materials & Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) and the Council for Textile Recycling (CTR) in support of the MassDEP Textile Recovery Initiative, the materials in Additional Resources below are designed to help Massachusetts cities and towns promote textile recovery and stage successful textile collection events.

Additional Resources for Textile Recovery Media Toolkit

Textile Recycling Education in Schools

See Additional Resources below to learn about:

  • An interactive MassDEP educational program that empowers students and teachers to help the environment through waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation and pollution prevention.
  • 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.

Additional Resources for Textile Recycling Education in Schools