Textile Recycling

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency across the country, only 15% of recyclable clothes and textiles are actually recovered; 85% ends up in the trash! NY State residents trash an estimated 1.4 billion pounds of recoverable clothes and textiles annually. 

These materials can easily be diverted from the landfill!

This includes textiles that are ripped, worn, stained, missing buttons, etc. 


Visit Re-Clothe NY
(Listings of area companies & locations of drop-off bins)

What are Considered Textiles?

Textiles are a fairly large category of items. Some of the typical textiles are:                            

  • used clothing (including socks)
  • shoes and sneakers
  • belts, hats, gloves, scarves, ties
  • purses, backpacks, totes, duffle bags
  • sheets, blankets, comforters, pillocases
  • towels, dish towels
  • table linens, place mats
  • curtains, draperies
  • stuffed animals, pillows

What To Do With Old Unwanted Textiles:                              

Visit Re-Clothe NY (Listings of area companies & locations of drop-off bins)

Reusable Condition: Can be donated to a variety of charities or clothing collection drop-off bins. Often times these textiles will be sold in the organization’s retail stores or be redistributed to people in need. In some cases, organizations will partner with a for-profit in the used clothing industry which will buy the clothing in bulk and provide an additional revenue stream to support the organization’s mission. Another outlet for good condition textiles is area consignment shops that will pay individuals directly for items.

Torn, Ripped, Stained, Broken, Unmatched: These textiles are accepted only by specific programs or collection bins. Please check with the organization before dropping off items. These textiles are used to produce various commercial products. 

Important Information:

  • No items should ever be placed outside a collection bin as it will be considered illegal dumping which can result in a fine and could jeopardize the organization's collection program.
  • Textiles cannot be placed in the curbside recycling bin.
  • No clothing that is mildewed or has been contaminated with a solvent such as gasoline, oil, paint, or odorous cleaner.
  • No carpets, rugs, or mattresses.

Why Reuse or Recycle Textiles?  

Donating used textiles supports local charitable organizations that provide jobs and job training to residents. Used textiles provide low-cost quality clothing and household linens to residents with a limited budget. Textiles that are not in reusable condition can have a 2nd life as an industrial wiping cloth, insulation for cars and homes, carpet padding or sound-proofing materials. Keeping used textiles out of the trash reduces disposal costs and saves landfill space!