Tag Archives: landfill

Eight Insane Facts About Textile Recycling 

Waste not Want Not? I often get questions about how to re-purpose clothes that are too worn to be used again…. but there are MANY OTHER uses.   Here are a few basic ideas for the ripped / destroyed clothes

  1. QUILTS– cut out squares of the material, or the logo / school name and use again.
  2. Make a shopping bag. Put two tee shirts together- cut out the neckline with a deep U shape, and sleeves and sew the bottom end shut the Shoulders will be your handles and the bag will be great for groceries and soft for vegetables. And best of all, washable.
  3. Rags. You know how to do this.
  4. Stuff a pillow case with worn out clothes and use a s a dog / cat bed. Easy to re-stuff, and wash.
  5. RE-sew an item. For example: Cut a ripped man’s shirt down, and make a cute skirt for a little girl, keeping the buttons and pocket, adding an elastic waist. Make a stuffed toy, or a cloth piggy, like Ms. Oink.
  6. Contact a re-cycler. In the Bay Area we have a wonderful group: SCRAP. They gather materials to reuse, and give them away for free to TEACHERS, and sell them for a small about to consumers.

You will also be interested in these 8 Insane Facts About Textile Recycling posted by USAgain on their blog.  Great motivation to RE-USE.

No matter what side of the Atlantic you represent, the extent of personal textile waste is staggering. One battle that both Brits and Americans are losing is the battle against textile waste. Here’s why:

  1. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is only about 3 years.
  2. The consumer is the biggest culprit. In the U.S., 75% of pre-consumer textile waste is recycled by manufacturers, but only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recycled.
  3. The average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing, shoes and other household textiles each year.
  4. Americans generate almost 13 million tons of textile waste per year.  Brits generate about 1.12 million tons of textile waste a year.
  5. Even though the UK appears to generate less textile waste, One in five Brits admit to throwing away a garment after a single wear. This means that more than $127 million of clothing winds up in landfills each year after being worn once. (One in five Brits also think that light sabers exist.)
  6. One in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but only wear four of them regularly. (One in Four Americans also don’t know what nation the U.S. declared independence from.)
  7. The U.S. textile recycling industry creates around 17,000 jobs and removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product from waste stream each year.
  8. Over 70% of the world’s population uses secondhand clothes.

By placing drop boxes for used clothes across the country, USAgain has saved over 480 million items of clothing from landfills, and they aren’t stopping there.

Make a change in your own life by depositing reusable clothes, shoes and household textile in a USAgain dropbox near you.

TraX – Social Media encouraging Re-Use

Great News!

TraX awarded at StopWaste Business Efficiency Awards 2014

TraX, founded in Berkeley, is a new social impact media platform that encourages positive “reuse actions”!

  1. When you use a reusable cup, bag or straw while shopping…
  2. Photograph the reuse items via Instagram or Facebook mobile apps
  3. Add the store location and the  #traXactions hashtag and share the action online for cash rewards.

By using popular social media channels, traX is accessible to most US shoppers.  Each action is rewarded via “Square” cash from the TraX partners, including top reusable products companies, non-profits and other organizations committed to reducing waste from single-use disposables.

What are traX rewards?

WHY is this a GREAT IDEA? Many reasons – here’s one: 7 Million non-degradable TO-GO Coffee Cups disposed off in Landfill everyday.

traX coffe cup infographic

TraX also connects and acknowledges their “Action Hero” users to leverage their actions to motivate others.

Six months after launching, 60% of traX users are based in Northern California and 10% in Alameda County.

See StopWaste.org

One Shirt, Take it Off!

Description: C:\Users\Andrew Dubbins\Desktop\collegedump.jpgFor this year’s Earth Week (April 15-20), hundreds of colleges and universities—including our local San Francisco State University—are participating in the oneShirt Challenge, turning unwanted clothing into cash for charities. Way to GO, SFSU!!!  What other colleges will join them in the challenge?

Just in time for EARTH DAY, A mountain of discarded shirts that won’t enter the landfill this time!

Have you ever thought about how many pounds of clothes you throw away? Students are getting involved and using their brains, fibers and good will to make a difference.

One shirt challenge

Another Reason to Think about Garbage!

It’s piling up! And why? Because San Mateo County Garbage workers are on strike!
When we pay attention to recycling, composting, using less packaging, this becomes less of an issue. I wouldn’t want to be the family with a mound of plastic disposable diapers and no trash pick-up on this very hot sweltering week. Ugh!

Garbage workers in San Mateo County started a 48-hour strike Wednesday (Aug. 25) to protest stalled contract negotiations with Allied Waste Industries, a company spokeswoman said.

Several East Palo Alto residents said their garbage bins, normally collected Wednesday at 6 a.m., still lingered on the curb by mid-afternoon. The sweltering afternoon heat accentuated the pungent smell, one resident said.

Thirteen workers at the Ox Mountain Landfill near Half Moon Bay are participating in the two-day strike over negotiations that have stalled since their contract expired at the end of 2009, Allied Waste spokeswoman Peg Mulloy said.

Labor Dispute news… more information!

Free Composting Classes

These classes are available all over, check the schedule. You can also register to be a GREEN BUSINESS. For Palo Alto and most other communities, you’ll have to register. In PA, call for location and registration (650) 496-5910 or email recycling@city.palo-alto.ca.us In addition to classes, some areas offer low cost composting bins. All this effort reduces solid waste in the landfill and lowers your garbage bill.

Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch

There are two masses of garbage floating in our oceans, both the size of Texas. Two! One site is 1000 miles west of California and 1000 miles west of Hawaii.  The other site is 1000 miles off the coast of Japan.  Ocean currents [gyres] moved the discarded trash into a giant heap. Nudging the bottles and plastic junk into an amorphous spheres like stirring a pot of plastic soup. The SF Chronicle reported on this in October 2007. This patch has a long history growing ten-fold every decade for the last 50 years. Most of the refuse comes from land where it was not disposed of properly – floating in from rivers, streams and waterways.

The Independent offers a recent article. Its celebrity has prompted a page on Face Book. Maybe soon the Garbage patch will get an SSN and an identity, it will be here for a long while.

water bottles on cart

Look at this too – Plastiki a boat made of plastic bottles, sails to Sydney to promote ocean awareness.