Austin launches new curbside clothing recycle service

Simple Recycling starting service in Austin Dec. 5, 2016.
Simple Recycling starting service in Austin Dec. 5, 2016.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city of Austin is launching a new effort to keep textiles from ending up in landfills.

Starting Dec. 5 residents who receive curbside service from the city will be able to leave unwanted items like clothes, kitchenware, and toys on the curb for pick up. The for profit company called Simple Recycling is contracting with the city for the pickup. Next week residents will receive information about the service in the mail. At the end of the month they will be sent a green bag to put those items in and leave next to their recycling bin during their regular recycling pickup week.

This is another step in Austin’s zero waste by 2040 goal. A study conducted by Austin Resource Recovery in 2015 found 3,000 tons of textiles are ending up in Austin’s landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 85 percent of all textiles end up in the landfill.

This new service is free and Simple Recycling will pay the city $20 per ton, then try to resell the items to keep them out of the landfill.

“They first try to sell it within the state, then nationally and internationally,” said Melissa Goodman, Austin Resource Recovery. “Things that cannot be sold for recycling are broken down and made into new materials. And only things that can’t be recycled or resold end up in the landfill.”

City of Austin officials are still encouraging residents to donate to a charity first as the items donated curbside will not have a tax write off.

Click here for a list of items that can and cannot be donated.

Those who live in condos or apartments and don’t have curbside service, Simple Recycling will pick up at Austin’s Recycle and Reuse Drop Off Center at 2514 Business Center Drive.

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