Northeast Recycling Council Announces Textile Recovery Workshop

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One-Day Event Aims to Educate Municipalities and the Public on Benefits of Clothing and Textile Recycling

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) announces a one-day symposium on textile recovery entitled “Collecting Textiles: Make It Work for Your Community” to be held Tuesday, April 2nd at the Nathan Hale Inn & Conference Center at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. The goal of the workshop is to provide municipalities, recycling coordinators, colleges & universities, schools, civic groups, and the general public with information on the process for setting up local clothing and textile collection programs.

Many of the leaders of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) will be presenting during the symposium, including the keynote address by the immediate past-President of SMART, Larry Groipen. Mr. Groipen will provide an overview of the clothing and textile recycling and reuse industry, will discuss how those industries operate, and the impact textile recycling has on local municipalities. SMART is the international trade association of the for-profit clothing and textile recycling industry.

“Textiles in the waste stream are a long over-looked resource, with important environmental and socio-economic value,” says Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director. “There is a tremendous opportunity to re-use or recycle clothing and textiles that many people don’t realize is available. According to the EPA, currently 85% of clothing and textiles that could have been recycled is instead winding up in landfills or incinerators.” The Environmental Protection Agency also estimates the average American throws away 70-pounds of clothing and textiles annually. This totals more than 25-billion pounds of materials going directly into landfills or incinerators, 95% of which could have been reused or recycled. “Anyone who wants to learn more about diverting textiles, or how to set-up a program, should plan on attending the ‘Collecting Textiles’ workshop,” she added.

“People don’t realize clothing that is stained, is out-of-date, or has been torn can be recycled,” says Mr. Groipen. “As long as the items are dry and have no offensive odors, there is a use for them in the textile recycling industry. If they aren’t re-used as clothes, they may be cut into wiping cloths or broken down into their basic fibers to be re-manufactured into new products.”

The workshop also includes welcoming remarks by Mr. Robert Isner, Connecticut DEEP, and Vice President of NERC’s Board of Directors. There will also be a panel discussion on getting to know the available markets for recyclable textiles, and presentations on how to implements clothing recycling in schools districts, at colleges & universities, and how to work with municipalities to begin similar programs. In addition to the leaders of SMART, other presenters include a representative of Easter Seals-Goodwill industries of Connecticut, and representatives of various companies within the clothing and textile recycling industry.

For more information about the “Collecting Textiles: Make It Work for Your Community” workshop, including the complete agenda, and Northeast Recycling Council visit the NERC website at http://www.NERC.org. The website includes information on the recycling programs in 11 northeastern states. You may also contact NERC’s Assistant Director, Mary Ann Remolador, at 802-254-3636 or by email at maryann(at)nerc(dot)org.

About
Northeast recycling Council (NERC) is a multi-state non-profit organization that is committed to environmental and economic sustainability through responsible solid waste management. Its programs emphasize source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP), and decreasing the toxicity of the solid waste stream in the 10-state region comprised of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. NERC’s member states make up one-sixth of the nation’s population. For additional information on NERC, visit the organization’s website at http://www.NERC.org.

About
Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) is an international nonprofit trade association that strengthens the economic opportunities of its diverse membership by promoting the interdependence of our industry segments and providing a common forum for networking, education and trade. Since 1932, SMART has been at the forefront of recycling. SMART members use and convert recycled and secondary materials from used clothing, commercial laundries and non-woven, off spec material, new mill ends and paper from around the world. SMART member companies create thousands of jobs worldwide. SMART members prove each day that you can make money by being socially responsible.

For additional information on SMART, visit the association’s website at http://www.SMARTasn.org. The following link will take you directly to informational videos on textile recycling
http://www.smartasn.org/about/videos.cfm. To download the iRecycle app visit http://www.Earth911.com. The app allows users to find clothing and textile recycling drop-off locations in their area.

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