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Scheme helps New Yorkers clean out their closets

United States – New York City residents have donated for recycling over one million pounds of clothing, shoes, accessories, towels, linen and rags via re-fashioNYC – the local Clothing Reuse and Recycling Program.

The milestone was announced by sanitation commissioner John J. Doherty, who claims the ‘seamless and totally transparent’ process explains the noteworthy inflow of textiles since the initiative’s launch in April 2011. Around half of the donations are retained for sale in thrift shops throughout New York, he says, while the rest is typically sold to a textile vendor for recycling.

With re-fashioNYC, some 300 clothing donation bins have been placed in over 250 buildings, providing a ‘convenient clothing donation option’ for more than 36 000 apartment units, notes Doherty. In recent weeks, the programme has expanded to include businesses that may have textiles waste, such as dry cleaners, hotels, clothing designers and storage facilities.

New Yorkers consign an estimated 200 000 tons of textiles to landfills every year. ‘Around 80% of what we throw away in New York City is textile material that could be recycled or reused,’ states Ron Gonen, DSNY deputy commissioner for recycling and sustainability.

He describes re-fashioNYC as a simple way for residents to reduce their waste while supporting the local charity Housing Works with any profits made.

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