Support the Arlington Schools with your Textile Donations
by Rachel Oliveri, School Sustainability Coordinator
Clearing out your closets, attics, and basements and wondering where to donate those old, worn, torn clothes, shoes, belts, backpacks, and stuffed animals? Arlington Public Schools have collection bins at all the elementary and middle schools and will gladly accept your donations throughout the year.
This program, through Bay State Textiles, rescues textiles from going in the trash and the schools earn funds for every ton they collect. Bay State Textiles reports that 45% of the material they receive is sold in the second hand markets (ReUse!), 30% made into wiping cloths and 20% recycled into new products.
Since the start of the program in 2018, the Arlington schools have collected over 200,000 pounds of textiles and earned over $10,000 for the district.
Please remember to bag all donations. Some collection bins are located in the school's staff parking lots so please drop off those donations outside of school hours. For a complete list of acceptable items go to http://www.baystatetextiles.com/what-we-do-dont-accept/
In the spring, be sure to support the schools in your neighborhood during our annual Textile Recycling Competition where all schools compete to see who can collect the most donations for one week. Dates and details will be announced in early April.
Not sure why it's important to recycle textiles? The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection studies what's in our waste stream and they've found 5% of the weight of our trash is clothing and textiles. Unfortunately, statewide we are only recycling 13% of what we could.
Happily, half of all MA communities have a program to recycle textiles, such as our school-based program. We just need to let more people know about it, so help us spread the word! More at arlingtonma.gov/recycle