Stratford residents will soon be able to recycle unwanted textiles and small household items by bagging them and leaving them at the curb.
The textile recycling concept originated with the town’s Green Task Force, which included Mayor Laura Hoydick and Councilor Bill O’Brien, as well as State Representatives Ben McGorty (R-122) and Joe Gresko (D-121).
“This is an important step in our continuing effort to get more items out of our waste stream and into our recycling stream,” said Mayor Laura Hoydick. “This ultimately results in a more environmentally responsible handling of discarded textiles as well as significant cost-savings to the town. This was one of the great ideas, like the Bigbelly solar trash compactors we launched last year, that resulted from the work of the Green Task Force that we are implementing.”
Mayor Hoydick joined Town Council members Jim Connor (R-8), Laura Dancho (R-10), Bill O’Brien (R-9) and Simple Recycling Vice President Sonny Wilkins in Stratford to commemorate the partnership.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 84% of old clothes, shoes, belts, handbags and textile items end up in a landfill or an incinerator. On average, that works out to about 85 pounds of textile items per person each year. As a result, textiles make up more than 6% of all the residential and municipal trash in the U.S.
Stratford’s partnership with the Solon, Ohio-based Simple Recycling aims to change all that. The company provides free curbside collection and recycling of unwanted textiles and small housewares to communities across the United States. Currently, Simple Recycling serves over 4 million households across eight states and will soon be serving residents here in Stratford.
In the week before the program’s July 15 launch date, Simple Recycling will send informational mailers to homes that receive recycling collection from the town. The mailers will contain free pink Simple Recycling bags. Some residents may have already received them.
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, and leave behind additional bags.
The company will accept a wide range of used textiles 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. A complete list of accepted items can be found at SimpleRecycling.com.
For more information about the Simple Recycling program, residents can call the Department of Public Works at 203-385-4080.