Somerville curbside textile recycling begins July 30

Somerville curbside textile recycling begins July 30
On July 24, 2018, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Available to residences that receive City trash and recycling services

Each year, only 15 percent of all unwanted clothing in the United States is donated or recycled while approximately 14.3 million tons of clothing (or about 80 pounds per person) end up in landfills. To help divert more clothing out of the local waste stream, the City of Somerville will soon offer a program that makes it easier for residents to recycle unwanted clothes and accessories.

Beginning July 30, the City will launch curbside textile recycling pickup to residences already receiving City trash and recycling services. Textile recycling pickup, which will be done by City contractor Simple Recycling, will occur on the same schedule as each household’s weekly trash and recycling pickup.

To prepare for the new service, two free ink Simple Recycling bags were recently mailed along with informational materials to eligible households. After July 30, eligible residents with clothing or other household textiles to discard can simply place them in the pink Simple Recycling bags and put them out on the curb next to their trash and recycling on pickup day. Items to be collected include clothing, shoes, jewelry, blankets, drapes, dishes, silverware, and more. For a complete list, visit Wherever Simple Recycling picks up filled bags, they will leave behind free replacement pink bags.

“We still want residents who already donate directly to area nonprofits or other clothing collection efforts to continue to do so, but this new service aims to make recycling easier for people who otherwise wouldn’t donate or recycle their old clothing. It will reduce waste, which is good for the environment, and reduce waste removal costs, which his good for local tax payers,” said Oliver Sellers Garcia, Director of the City’s Office of Sustainability and Environment.

Simple Recycling works with several thrift stores to resell up to 20% of the collected material. Of the remaining roughly 80% of the material that is not sellable in the United States, some is sent for sale internationally and the remainder is used as raw material. Overall, about 40% of collected material is reused or repurposed as secondhand clothing, 30% is reused as rags and/or industrial material such as absorbents, and 30% is recycled into home insulation, carpet padding, and raw material for the automotive industry.

Eligible residents may request additional bags by calling Simple Recycling at 866-835-5068, visiting, or picking up bags at the City Hall welcome desk at 93 Highland Ave. Residents who wish to donate to a local organization can find a list of nonprofits who will schedule curbside pickup (click “Charitable Donations”). To learn more about the City’s Curbside Textile Recycling Program, visit

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or [email protected]

~City of Somerville