Friday, November 5, 2010

The Million Pound Challenge: NYC Recycles Clothes to Reach Goal

Back in September GrowNYC — a non-profit geared toward improving the quality of life in the five boroughs through environmental programs — launched The Million Pound Challenge. This challenge calls on New Yorkers to bring unwanted or worn out clothes to eight weekly drop-off sites, with the goal of reaching the million pound mark by Dec. 31. Instead of going to waste, materials are sorted and redistributed to secondhand clothing markets, rag makers and fiber recyclers. So far, 830,000 pounds of textiles have been collected.

“When the City published the findings of its comprehensive Waste Characterization Study in 2006 we were shocked to see that 6 percent of our waste consists of textiles — this is after residents have sifted out items to donate to their favorite charities,” said GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. “There is no easier way to reduce this figure than to add textiles to your recycling routine. Our collections are unique in that we’ll take all of your clean, dry, unwanted textiles.  Now there’s a solution for what to do with those bleach-stained towels.”

Each ton of material kept out of the trash represents a savings to taxpayers, who foot the bill for sending discards to out of state landfills. Visit the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket in Brooklyn to drop off textiles for recycling.

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