Archive for May, 2019

Berlin partnering with textile recycling company

Posted on: May 29th, 2019 by Catherine

Berlin partnering with textile recycling company

May 25, 2019

BERLIN — A new recycling service will be launching next month, promising to save residents space in their closets and spare the town a few dollars on disposal costs.

Ohio-based company Simple Recycling will begin collecting any used textiles, such as old clothes, shoes, belts or handbags, on June 17 in pink bags which will be mailed to households in the weeks beforehand. Every recycling collection day the company will pick up the bags, which should be left on the curbside, and leave a replacement attached to the recycling bin.

Deputy Public Works Director Jim Horbal said it’s a “win-win” for the town, which gets paid by the ton collected rather than paying to dispose of the refuse. The company already operates in Newington, New Britain and Plainville, among other Connecticut towns.

“We will be reducing the tonnage collected,” he said. “Where we pay $64 a ton to dispose of it … the Simple Recycling contract will be reimbursing the town $20 a ton collected.”

Every recycling collection, which the town is currently paid $9 a ton for, will be switching to costly expense to the town after the current contract ends in July. Due to the cost of exporting to China under the current tariffs, the price will jump to $82 a ton, Horbal said.

“It’s a $90 jump and it’s coming out of our pocket,” he said.

Simple Recycling resells lightly used textiles domestically or abroad, where gently used or out-of-fashion clothing might be more marketable, while more heavily soiled clothing will be recycled for raw materials.

A release from the town states that “clothing, boots and shoes, belts and ties, handbags, hats and gloves, toys, towels, sheets and blankets, (and) small kitchen appliances” are all accepted items. If residents don’t have a bag at hand, they can use a normal trash bag and clearly mark it to be picked up by Simple Recycling.

“The Simple Recycling service is not meant to compete with local charities,” the release says. “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 trash.”

It cites Environmental Protection Agency statistics as finding that 84 percent of textiles end up in a landfill or incinerator, adding up to an average of 85 pounds of such items being discarded per person every year. That represents 6 percent of the country’s trash.

Clearing the Clutter: Who will take my stuff?

Posted on: May 7th, 2019 by Catherine
Spring cleaning means out with the old.

But when you’re finished cleaning out your closet, what do you do with all that stuff?

“I recommend that people have a good exit strategy for things like that,” says professional organizer Kate Bosch.

Bosch says setting up a donation bag or bin near the door will prevent clutter from accumulating.

“If you don’t have it set up that you know how you’re going to get it out of your house, it just accumulates and you go, ‘Oh yeah, there’s that pile of donations, I don’t know what to do with it,’” explains Bosch.

Some local communities like Easton are trying to make donating old clothing, shoes and household items as easy as taking out the trash.

“It’s been an ongoing problem for many communities in Massachusetts,” says Easton Director of Public Works David Field.

Field says his team finds items that should be donated stuffed in the trash every day. So last month, the town of Easton partnered with curbside clothing recycling company Simple Recycling and distributed pink donation bags to Easton residents.

“Any type of clothing, shoes, even household items – kitchen items, things like that – anything that will fit inside the bag is appropriate,” explains Field.

Put it out on recycling day and Simple Recycling will take care of the rest.

Even if your town doesn’t offer Simple Recycling, Bosch says you can still donate your clothing from the comfort of home.

“Salvation Army, Savers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, all of those – Goodwill – have ways you can schedule them to pick up,” says Bosch.

For appliances, Bosch says “I know that refrigerators – National Grid often has incentives – they’ll even pay you.”

She says you can make a few bucks listing furniture on sites like Facebook marketplace.

If you just want the furniture gone, you can pay for that convenience.

“Even 1-800 Got Junk, which people think of it as a dumpster company, they take the stuff and they donate it,” says Bosch. “If it’s reusable, they’ll bring it to their donation connections.”

Bosch says many people also hold on to expired medication for way too long. Most local police stations have medication drop boxes to make disposal easy.

Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation offers a helpful disposal and donation guide.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has also compiled a similar guide.

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