Are you considering a textile recycling program for your multi-family property or company? Controlling textile waste is a challenge, and it often requires a multi-pronged approach. Whether you’re considering a program or not, there’s no denying that textile waste is a growing problem.
The average American purchases one new piece of clothing every 5.5 days and throws away 81 pounds of textiles every single year. On average, for every five pieces of clothing produced, three of them will end up in the landfill.
Once in the landfill, textiles can take more than 200 years to break down. While those textiles decompose, they release methane gas into the atmosphere and leach toxic dyes and chemicals into our soil and groundwater.
As fashion continues to get faster and our landfills keep filling up, one thing is clear: we must get a handle on textile waste before it’s too late.
The solution is multi-tiered, but corporate responsibility and textile recycling are critical to getting textile waste under control. Here’s how you can do your part.
4 Steps to Control Textile Waste in Your Company or Property
Step 1: Implement a Textile Recycling Program that Diverts Textiles Away From Landfills.
Not all recycling programs sort recyclables. Instead, they simply pick up whatever is in the bin and take it to the recycling center. The problem is that much of what goes into those recycling bins can’t be recycled unless they are sent to specific facilities designed to recycle those items.
So, anything that a recycling center can’t recycle goes to the landfill. As a result, you may think you’re recycling your waste when it’s actually headed to the landfills after all. That’s why it’s so essential to create a program that is specifically designed to divert textiles away from landfills —and can prove it.
Step 2: Pair Education With Your Textile Recycling Program.
Education is how you can ensure your program actually gets used. This is especially important for multi-family residences where tenants might be unfamiliar with the need for and process of textile recycling.
Step 3: Choose a Community Partner That Works on a Local Level.
There’s clothes recycling, and then there’s the option to donate old clothes. If possible, donations are usually the best route.
Working with a community partner is a great way to coordinate with local charities and secondhand shops. It enables you to have a clear path to extend the life of usable textiles through donations while simultaneously contributing to your community.
Step 4: Get Authenticated, Verifiable, Unalterable Data.
To gauge the impact of your textile recycling program, you need to know where your textiles end up. Too often, programs claim they’re sustainable but have no way to prove it.
For example, a major recycling company, which claims it can “recycle everything,” recently came under fire for its inability to prove it actually recycles the products it collects.
Plus, when there’s no visibility into the recycling process, you have no data to use for your portfolio manager and ESG reporting. And even when you have ESG data, research has found that much of it tends to be misleading, with many companies proving not to be as sustainable as their reports claim.
Greenwashing is rampant, and to prove your textile recycling program is doing what you say it’s doing, you need to ensure you have authenticated, verifiable, and unalterable data.
Getting Started with Textile Recycling
Textile waste is a massive problem, but companies and multi-family properties can do their part to mitigate the crisis by creating a comprehensive clothes recycling program. By following the steps above, you can implement a successful textile recycling program and be a part of the solution.
At CheckSammy, we create customizable textile recycling solutions for any enterprise or multi-family unit based on their unique needs. We also help provide community education with our SmartBAGS and other products. Contact us today to learn more.
TAKE THE FIRST STEP
Take a positive step toward reducing landfill waste. Contact us to discuss how we can help you level up your sustainability initiatives with our commercial junk removal, recycling, and analytics solutions today.