Archive for the ‘News’ Category

All of us need to keep our garb out of the garbage

Posted on: November 20th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

Many people I know think of recycling in terms of plastics, cans, glass, etc. However, the world has a global problem when it comes to unwanted clothing. According to the EPA, 84 percent of discarded clothing ends up in the landfill. In that last 20 years, Americans have doubled the amount of clothes they trash per year from 7 million tons to over 15 million tons, which equates to about 80 pounds per person annually. Of this amount, only 2.6 million tons were recycled; 3.1 million tons were combusted for energy recovery; and 10.5 million tons were sent to the landfill.

The problem of what to do with unwanted clothing is so large that there is currently no good way to deal with it all. Instead of putting it in your trash, you may think that recycling it is a good idea. There are different ways to do this: you can put it in your Simple Recycle bags and place on the curb in Bay Village and Westlake, or you can bring it to a store with clothing recycling, such as H&M, to discard it.

However, only 0.1 percent of clothing collected for recycling is actually recycled into new textiles. So then you think, “Maybe I’ll donate my unwanted clothing to Goodwill.” This is also a great idea; however, charities such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army only sell between 20-40 percent of clothing being donated. The clothing they are not able to sell is sold to textile recyclers. The United States produces so much clothing that there is not a need for as much unwanted clothing as we have, even among the “needy.”

Textile recyclers then sort the clothing into several categories. About 30 percent is turned into wiping rags for industrial uses, and another 25-30 percent are recycled into fiber for use as stuffing for upholstery, insulation and others. The remaining 45 percent continue as clothing. Japan will purchase vintage or American high-end fashion. The clothing that is not in that category will be exported to developing nations.

The advent of low-cost, low-quality (also known as “fast fashion”) clothing suppliers such as H&M, Forever 21 and Old Navy has increased the problem exponentially. When fashion is available inexpensively, people do not feel the need to wear it more than a few times. Further, the point of fast-fashion is to get styles quickly to consumers, and stock new styles in the store, so the $10 skirt may only be in style for a short time. Compared to 15 years ago, the average person today buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long, generating a huge amount of waste. The annual environmental impact of a household’s clothing is equivalent to the water needed to fill 1,000 bathtubs and the carbon emissions from driving an average modern car for 6,000 miles. If the average life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce their carbon and water footprints, as well as waste generation, by five to ten percent. The recycling of two million tons of clothing per year equates to taking one million cars from U.S. streets.

What can you do? This is a great question. For the clothing you already own that you do not want, please donate it, put it in a Simple Recycling bag, or bring to a retailer such as H&M. While these are not perfect options, they are much better than putting it directly into the landfill trash.

In the future the best thing to do is to purchase your clothing thoughtfully. Please consider how much use you are going to get out of it before you buy it. If it’s a cheap item that you think you’ll only wear a couple times, do not buy it. Concentrate on stocking your closet with high quality pieces that are stylish but not super trendy. The super trendy items are the ones that are discarded the most. Think of it as an investment as well; buying higher quality clothing will last you much longer and save you money in the long run rather than stocking up on cheap clothing that will be out of style very quickly or not last very long.

And lastly, a super eco-conscious way to purchase clothing is to buy it second-hand from a consignment or thrift store. Each of us can make a difference when we become thoughtful about how we discard clothing and what clothing we purchase next.

Simple Recycling Comes to the Borough

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

Let your clothing be loved again

By Nancy Sasso Janis, Patch Mayor 

Naugatuck, CT – Simple Recycling starts collecting in Naugatuck, CT as of Nov 4, 2019.

Simple Recycling offers a convenient New and Free clothing and shoe home pickup service to the residents of Naugatuck, CT your regular recycling day. You should receive an informational mailer that includes your FREE Simple Recycling bag.

To participate in the program, fill up and place your Simple Recycling bag out on your curb Next to your recycling cart by 7am. Our friendly drivers will pick up your bags between 7am to 5pm on your recycling day and will leave replacement bags attached to your recycling refuse cart.

Do You Need Additional Bags? and a Full List of accepted items, go to or reach out to us at


Friendswood’s Fall Haul puts out call for residents’ junk

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by Catherine No Comments


In Friendswood, cleanup is a community effort.

Several agencies will be on hand to support the city and its residents at the annual Fall Haul, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at Centennial Park, 2200 S. Friendswood Drive.

Residents are encouraged to drop off their yard waste, old appliances, electronics, trash, unneeded furniture, bricks, plastic and even metal. Items like paint, batteries, oil, tires and other hazardous materials won’t be accepted.

Kim Ramirez, who works in the Parks and Recreation Department, said the event, which has been happening for more than 20 years and is a companion event to the Spring Sparkle, attracts a crowd.

“On average we get 700 to 1,000 cars that drive by,” she said. “People really take advantage of the event to clean out their garages and their yards and get their homes in shape.”

To run the event, Ramirez said the city partners with organizations including Keep Friendswood Beautiful, Waste Connections and Simple Recycling, a company that collects and recycles clothing

“We take clothes now,” she said. “We did this for the first time at the Spring Sparkle event, and it was a bit hit.”

Even getting rid of your old refrigerator is simple. The city is bringing in Star Services, a company that will dispose of your fridge but won’t require owners to empty the appliance of freon.

“At this event, you don’t have to worry about that, they’ll be doing it for you,” Ramirez said.

Garage sale items may also be donated at the Fall Hall. Keep Friendswood Beautiful will collect the items, offer them for sale and use the proceeds for its beautification work at Stevenson Park. She said the group routinely earns from $600 to $1,000 from its efforts.

Finally, the Galveston County Wildlife Rehabilitation group will be on hand to accept donations like aquariums, kennels, clean rags and bowls for its animals.

For more information about the Faul Hall, visit or call the city at 281-996-3200.


Franklin introduces curbside clothing recycling on Nov. 11

Posted on: October 21st, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

According to DEP statistics, 8.1% of trash is reusable, recyclable material, with 95% that can be reused. But only 15% of people recycle these materials through drop boxes or other methods.

FRANKLIN – In an effort to go more green, Franklin is going pink.

Residents with Town Curbside solid waste collection will soon get pink bags that they can put out on trash days. Three Pink bags and an introduction card will be arriving the first week of November. The contents of the bags will be kept out of landfills.

Residents can find out more at

According to DEP statistics, 8.1% of trash is reusable, recyclable material, with 95% that can be reused. But only 15% of people recycle these materials through drop boxes or other methods. Simplerecycling now has one million customers in Massachusetts, including towns like Franklin. Customers get bright pink bags, which can be filled with either used clothes or other items that can be sold at thrift stores. The bags are set out on the same day as recycling. When bags are picked up, an empty ones are left for the homeowner to fill again.

There is no cost to the town or the resident, and the town is paid $20 a ton for the material versus a cost of roughly $63 a ton for incineration.

Simplerecycling trucks can usually complete the routes faster than town recycling trucks and are not connected to Waste Management trash and recycling service. If a resident hasn’t had their bag picked up after 5 p.m., they call Simplerecycling customer service, and the bag can be picked up the next business day, or the following week.

According to Simplerecycling, clean, “pre-loved” clothing and accessories, including those in need of repair, stained, ripped, single sockets., etc., and small household goods that fit into the bags are all recyclables.

That includes:

• All clothing;

• Shoes, belts, scarfs, purses, hats, gloves, backpacks, bibs, coats, boots, sneakers, ties, etc.;

• Household textiles: Curtains/drapes, bedspreads, sheets, pillows, sleeping bags, towels, etc.;

• Kitchenware: Glasses, dishes, silverware, pans, etc.;

• Small electronics: Radios, hair dryers, curling irons, etc.;

• Small decorative items: Knick knacks, pictures, etc.; and

• Miscellaneous: Jewelry, toys, tools, books and other small home goods that can fit in the bag.

Regular curbside recycling continues for metal food and beverage cans, plastic bottles, jars, jugs and tubs, glass bottles and jars and paper and cardboard.

Melrose Curbside textile pickup to begin in November

Posted on: October 14th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments


The Melrose Department of Public Works and Zero Waste Melrose recently announced that, starting in November of this year, Melrose homeowners will have the opportunity to recycle textile and other household products through curbside pickup.

The service is being offered by Simple Recycling, a private, for-profit company that is currently operating in multiple cities and towns throughout southern New England. Nearby municipalities using the program include Brookline, Saugus, Medford, Somerville, Burlington and Lexington.

Prior to the program’s launch in November, Simple Recycling will send out information to each Melrose household detailing how the program works, along with the pink bags that homeowners will use to recycle eligible items. Once the program starts, homeowners will be able to place their pink bag, or bags, containing the items out on the curb with their trash and recycling containers on their regularly scheduled trash/recycling pickup day. Simple Recycling will pick up the pink bags and leave empty pink bags for the homeowner’s next pickup.

DPW and ZWM urge those Melrose residents who currently donate clothing items to the schools to keep on doing so. Simple Recycling has found that, in the communities in which it is operating, existing clothing donation programs work smoothly with the curbside service. The curbside service offers a responsible disposal alternative for many homeowners who had been throwing eligible items into the trash, or who had been relying on other options that were less convenient.

While the program focuses primarily on textiles such as men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, many other small household items are eligible for recycling, as long as they can fit into the pink bags. These items include shoes, jewelry, purses, hats, pots and pans, silverware, dishes, drapes and curtains, blankets and small toys. Simple Recycling will provide more detailed information on eligible items, as well as other aspects of the program, in its mailings to Melrose households.

For information about Melrose’s new curbside textile collection program, contact DPW at 781-665-0242 or Zero Waste Melrose at

Stamford residents filling pink bags with clothing in curbside pickup program

Posted on: September 30th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

STAMFORD – Since July, pink bags have dotted the curbs for pickup on recycling day.

Residents fill them with unwanted clothing, drapes bedspreads, blankets and other textiles, plus shoes, sneakers, belts, handbags and similar items, and a company contracted by the city collects them for free.

The city’s recycling chief, Dan Colleluori, started the program to get the materials out of the garbage stream, which saves on hauling costs and diverts it from landfills.

It’s catching on.

In the six weeks between July 15, when the program started, and the end of August, 27,740 pounds of shoes, clothing and other textiles were collected at the curb – almost the same amount as residence brought to the Magee Avenue recycling center in six months, Colleluori said.

“I’m pleased with the program,” he said.

So is Marjorie Hogan. The Glenbrook resident said the pink bags provided a convenient way to clean closets.

“I am getting out my comforters for the winter, and I looked at two duvet covers and I thought, I’ve had these for 15 years. Time to go” Hogan said. “I put them in a pink bag and they took it away and left me a couple more pink bags.”

She doesn’t put clothing in the bags, Hogan said – that goes to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which has a hall on Greyrock Place.

“The Hibernians are opening a thrift shop and asking for donation, so I will bring clothing there,” Hogan said. “But I will put linens out in the pink bags.”

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, Colleluori siad.

“We hope people continue to donate to charities, but more than 80 percent of textiles waste goes in the garbage, so if curbside pickup gets some of it recycled, it’s a good thing,” he said.

The city collects 40,000 tons of trash a year, and 6,000 tons of it is textiles, Colleluori said. If all of those textiles were recycled, the city would save $420,000 a year in garbage hauling costs.

On top of that, the contractor, Simple Recycling of Ohio, pays the city 2 cents a pound, for a total revenue so far of about $550.

The operation depends on electronic tablets equipped with GPS that Simple Recycling installed in eight city recycling trucks. When city drivers are out collecting recyclables from the green bins, they tap a button on the tablet each time they spot a pink bag, which send a GPS coordinates for that address to Simple Recycling.

Drives for Simple Recycling then pick up the bags at the identified addresses.

As with most new programs, this one has kinks, Colleluori said, and hes’s trying to work them out.

One problem can be solved with education.

“Some people think it’s our recycling trucks that pick up the pink bags. They see our trucks in front of their house and it drivers away without the bags, and they call to say it wasn’t collected,” Colleluori said. “But Simple Recycling picks up the bags after we’re gone. They work until 5 p.m. so bags may be picked up until that time.”

The other problem must be solved with money.

It’s that the city trucks fitted with electronic tables don’t always make it to the road, Colleluorie siad.

“A lot of our trucks are odd,” he said. “We’re busting hydraulic lines and having problems every day. It;s a juggle to get them out on their routes.”

When the regular trucks are held back for repairs, other trucks not fitted with electron tablets are sent out.

“Rights not those drivers have no way to ‘ping’ Simple Recycling to let them know where bags are waiting for pickup,” Colleluori said.

Many recycling and garbage trucks in the fleet of 40 should be replaced, he said, but the city recently has spent much of its capital budget on the new Strawberry Hill school, new police headquarters, and the extensive repairs to leaky school buildings that were discovered last year to be infested with mold.

“From what I understand, New York City replaces its trucks every four or five years, and we have trucks that are much older that that,” Colleluori said.

A truck can cost from $270,000 to $320,000, he said. e is applying for state and federal grants that he hopes could fund the purchase of perhaps 10 trucks. But they are reimbursement grants so the city would have to outlay the money first, Colleluori said.

Residents whose oink bags are not picked up should report it to the city’s online citizens’ service site, FIxItStamford. To request pink bags, email Simple Recycling at or call them at (866) 835-5068.

Over the summer Simple Recycling sent pink bags and instructions to about 20,000 Stamford households, and Sonny Wilkins, company vice president. The initial response has been good, he said.

“I would expect about 15,000 to 20,000 pounds a month,” Wilkins said, and in August, the first full month of the Stamford program, 14,000 pounds were collected.

“The initial challenge is letting people know about the program,” he said. “We’ll see more when more people know about it.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reported that 16 million tons of textiles are thrown away each year, and 85 percent ends up in landfills.

The pink bags are delivered to a facility Simple Recycling rents on Fairfiled Avenue, where they are weighed then trucked out to be sorted and sold to thrift stoes tha resell items or companies that make rags or convert textiles in insulation, carpet padding and other products.

Simple Recycling operates in 210 cities and towns nationwide, Wilkins said. In Connecticut, it has contracts with three other municipalities – Stratford, Milford and Orange.

Hogan said she feels strongly about recycling.

“I’m 100 percent behind it,” she said. “Now I can do it right in front of my house.”


Recycling is so simple with Simple Recycling

Posted on: September 30th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

Did you know you can recycle clothing and small household items alongside your regular trash/recycling pick up every week?  The City of Montgomery began a partnership with Simple Recycling in December of 2018, and it costs you and the City nothing to participate.  The City earns $20 for each ton of materials collected!

According to the EPA, only 15 percent of clothing is donated or recycled in areas where no curbside program is offered, which means 85 percent of items end up in landfills.  While donations to local charities are still encouraged, this program is intended to capture materials that would otherwise go into the landfill.

What can I recycle?

  • Clothing and Accessories: Adult and children’s clothing, coats, hats, jewelry, purses, backpacks, and shoes. Items must be dry and clean (not wet or moldy) and may be in either reusable/resaleable or damaged (stained, torn, irreparable) condition.
  • Household Items: Bedding (blankets, pillows, sleeping bags), Kitchen items (dishes, glassware, silverware, pots and pans), Housewares (lamps, mirrors, pictures, radios, small furniture, tools, toys), and small appliances in working condition (toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, irons, hairdryers, etc.)  Household items should be in fair, working order with the purpose of reuse.

How does it work?

  1. Place acceptable items in specially marked Simple Recycling bags, or other weatherproof plastic bags marked “Simple Recycling.”
  2. Set the bags curbside, about 3 feet from your Rumpke recycling container, on your normal collection day.
  3. Items that are too large for the bag, but small enough for one person to lift, may be placed at the curb with a “Simple Recycling” tag affixed.
  4. After collection, the Simple Recycling team will leave behind orange replacement bags for future use. So Simple!

More questions?

For more information on this program, go to this page on the City website.  You may also contact Simple Recycling directly at 866-835-5068 or visit their website to request orange recycling bags or for additional information.

Textile Recycling Program Launch

Posted on: September 27th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

09/24/2019 2:46 PM

Going green? Go pink!

Posted on: September 20th, 2019 by Catherine No Comments

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