Plymouth Township begins ‘soft’ recycling program

Plymouth Township begins ‘soft’ recycling program

Apr. 10, 2019  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

Plymouth Michigan News

 

Don Howard

Staff Writer

Plymouth Township officials recently joined other neighboring communities in approving a new no-charge to residents ‘soft recyclables’ curbside collection program, offering residents a way to keep usable materials from landfills and easily dispose of unwanted clothing and textiles.

Residents will receive two orange or green bags they can fill with unwanted clothing, textiles and other household items and place at the curb on their regular collection day. Simple Recycling, an Ohio for-profit corporation, will collect the orange bags and leave replacement ones behind.

According to a presentation by Solid Waste Coordinator Sarah Visel and Township Trustee Chuck Curmi at a recent board of trustees meeting, the service is being offered in addition to the current GFL recycling program at no cost to residents or the township. Visel said it’s not meant to dissuade donations to charitable organizations, rather provide an additional, convenient option to discard unwanted items instead of them ending up in landfills.

According to industry statistics and EPA estimates, of the 16 million tons of textiles generated in 2015, 10.5 million tons went to landfills, 3 million tons were incinerated, and about 2.5 million tons, or about 15 percent, was recycled.

The primary focus is on clothing and accessories and will include small usable household discards. Typical items are clothing, coats, jackets, backpacks, jewelry, shoes, purses, hats, toys, blankets, drapes and curtains, pillows, sleeping bags, tools, silverware, dishes, and pots-pans.

All collected materials will be sorted locally and/or regionally based on quality and condition. The top quality materials will be resold to local thrift outlets, mid-grade is exported to international markets and “unusable” items are processed for raw materials.

Simple Recycling will pay the township one cent per pound of the gross receipts. Approximately 28 Michigan communities currently participate in the collection of soft recyclables, including Canton Township, Novi, Farmington, Wayne, Garden City, Milford and others.

Township officials approved the program at the March 12 board of trustees meeting by a 6 to 1 vote with Trustee Gary Heitman abstaining. The recycling is set to start June 20, pending contract approval by the township attorney, with an initial term of 4-years with an automatic renewal.


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