New York Textile Recycling Program Receives U.S. EPA Environmental Champion Award

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“Re-Clothe NY” campaign collected more than 100,000 pounds of textiles during America Recycles Day

“Re-Clothe NY,” a statewide campaign to promote clothing and textile recycling in New York, will receive a 2015 U.S. EPA Environmental Champion Award at a ceremony on Friday, April 24. A collaboration between the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), the New York State Association of Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3), and the Council for Textile Recycling (CTR), the initial launch collected more than 100,000 pounds of textiles in municipalities across New York on America Recycles Day in November 2014—the number continues to increase as special events and local efforts continue through Earth Day and beyond.

“The partnership between NYSAR3, SMART and CTR is an effective model of how the public and private sectors, along with not-for-profit entities, can collaborate to create statewide change,” said Jim Gilbert, NYSAR3 president. “As a result of ‘Re-Clothe NY,’ residents throughout New York have a heightened awareness of the need to keep textiles out of the trash in order to support jobs and minimize disposal impacts. This EPA Environmental Champion Award recognizes the environmental leadership of NYSAR3 members across the state and celebrates their daily efforts to help residents, schools and businesses in their local communities reduce waste and conserve precious natural resources.”

The campaign produced an innovative set of public communication tools, including a website with a searchable database of textile drop off locations, a media relations tool kit, and social media platforms. Recycling coordinators from across the state are using these tools to educate local residents about their role in preventing over one billion pounds of post-consumer textile materials, with a market value of over $200 million, from ending up in the trash each year. This unprecedented campaign generated statewide awareness of the need to recycle textiles, with traditional and digital media attention reaching more than 4,000 media outlets.

“We believe this collaboration with NYSAR3 and CTR has produced a template that can be used by any state in the country seeking to launch an effort to raise awareness about textile reuse and recovery,” said Jackie King, SMART executive director. “No other state in the nation has yet undertaken such an extensive campaign to focus on this material and develop resources to provide a turn-key template for any state, municipality or town to raise awareness and increase diversion of this valuable and untapped reuse and recycling resource. We strongly urge other states to take a look and use this effort as a model for the nation.”

According to NYSAR3, each year, New York residents dispose approximately 1.4 billion pounds of recoverable clothes and textiles, with an estimated market value of over $200 million. NYSAR3 estimates approximately 9,600 jobs would be created across the state if that material was dropped off for reuse and recycling. Across the country, only 15 percent of recyclable clothes and textiles are actually recovered, while 85 percent ends up in landfills and waste-to-energy facilities.

“Textiles comprise six percent of New York City’s waste stream,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia of the NYC Department of Sanitation. “Our ‘re-fashioNYC’ program aims to make donating and recycling unwanted apparel as easy and convenient as possible. With this program, we’re proud to contribute to the statewide recycling campaign and congratulate NYSAR3, SMART and CTR on their national recognition.”

Municipalities across New York continue to promote and host special events to raise awareness and recover textiles for recycling in conjunction with Earth Day. To find textile drop off locations, New York state residents should visit, check with their local solid waste authority, or follow #ReClotheNY on Facebook and Twitter. Please direct all media inquiries for SMART to Josie Hankey at 410-420-2001 or by email at josie.hankey(at)fallstongroup(dot)com

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 used 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 or view the SMART Media Kit at For informational videos on textile recycling, visit

About Council for Textile Recycling
The Council for Textile Recycling is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax exempt organization incorporated in the State of Maryland. The CTR is not involved in the collection of textile waste in any form and is entirely devoted to creating more awareness about keeping post-consumer textile waste out of our solid waste stream. Our nonprofit headquarters are located at 3465 Box Hill Corporate Center Drive, Suite H, Abingdon, Maryland 21009. Phone: 443-640-1050.

About New York State Association Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
The New York State Association Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) is New York State’s largest recycling association, representing professionals from the public, not-for-profit, and private sectors. Each day, these individuals provide statewide leadership on waste reduction, reuse and recycling issues and advance practices to improve the environment, generate jobs, and create a more sustainable future.

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Josie Hankey

Heather Lester
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