NP leads state in offering free, curbside collection of textiles
By ETHAN SHOREY, Valley Breeze Managing Editor
NORTH PROVIDENCE – Beginning Monday, Sept. 10, town residents will be able to recycle unwanted textiles and small household items simply by bagging them and leaving them at the curb on their regular recycling collection day.
North Providence is providing the new service in partnership with Simple Recycling. The service is free to residents and the town, said Mayor Charles Lombardi. He said he believes North Providence is the first community in the state to implement the program, to “hopefully help us reduce our waste tonnage, which we’ve been trying to address for a while.”
The Breeze reported last year on the growth of Simple Recycling and its pink bags, as well as the company’s interest in coming to North Providence. The collection service doesn’t cost the town or its residents anything, Lombardi emphasized, but could save significant money in disposal costs.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 84 percent of old clothes, shoes, belts, handbags and textile items end up in a landfill or an incinerator. On average, that adds up to about 85 pounds of textile items per person each year. As a result, textiles make up more than 6 percent of all the residential and municipal trash in the country.
Ohio-based Simple Recycling aims to change the outcome. The company provides free curbside collection to residents in eight states, and will now add Rhode Island to its client list.
In the weeks before the program’s Sept. 10 launch date, Simple Recycling will send informational mailers to homes receiving recycling collection from the town. The mailers will contain free Simple Recycling bags. When cleaning out closets or disposing of unwanted items, residents can place them in the bags. If a resident doesn’t have enough bags, then it’s OK to use regular trash bags that are clearly marked for Simple Recycling. Residents can then place the bags at the curb on their normal recycling collection day. Simple Recycling’s trucks will pick them up, free of charge.
The company accepts a wide range of used textile and small household items. The list of accepted items includes all types of used or new clothing, boots and shoes, belts and ties, handbags, hats and gloves, toys, towels, sheets and blankets, small kitchen appliances, and more.
The Simple Recycling service is not meant to compete with local charities, say representatives for the company. Its purpose is to provide a convenient curbside collection option for residents who want it.
“Ultimately, it’s about keeping those items out of the landfill,” states a release.
For more information, call the North Providence Recycling Office at 401-719-1610.