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Clothing recycling on the rise in the Atlanta area


USAgain’s 2013 textile recycling totals show continued growth

Stone Mountain, GA. – Atlanta-area residents diverted 8.1 million pounds of clothing and shoes away from landfills in 2013, according to the Stone Mountain-based textile recycler USAgain, demonstrating that convenience plays a key role in the continued growth of people recycling their unwanted clothing and shoes.

By diverting 8.1 million pounds of textiles from landfills, USAgain and its patrons saved 24.3 million pounds of CO­2 from entering the atmosphere, over 4.8 billion gallons of water, and 19,905 cubic yards of landfill space. That’s enough to fill 797 garbage trucks.

With more than 14,000 recycling locations nationwide, USAgain provides local communities with a convenient option for discarding their unwanted clothing in an environmentally responsible manner.

“It’s great to see continued progress toward textile recycling and a growing recognition of the importance of keeping textiles out of landfills, which saves our planet’s precious resources, said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “We’re looking forward to making even greater strides toward reducing waste in 2014.”

Although nearly all clothing and shoes can be re-used, Americans currently recycle just 15 percent of their clothing, with the rest – a total of more than 11 million tons – ending up in the garbage, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“A big picture goal of ours is to partner with more schools, municipalities and businesses to increase the textile recycling rate to 75 percent,” Wallander said. “Doing this would bring tremendous impacts in terms of resources conserved and carbon dioxide sequestered.”

Nationally, USAgain recycled a total of 55 million pounds of textiles. In addition, USAgain planted more than 200,000 trees around the globe in 2013, most in partnership with Trees for the Future, an agroforestry organization. The trees will serve to sequester carbon emissions and repair damaged ecosystems, helping to make the planet a greener, more inhabitable place.

For 2013 recycling information specific to USAgain’s national divisions, visit www.usagain.com/press-releases.

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About USAgain

USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry with corporate headquarters in West Chicago, IL. – is a for-profit company that recycles and resells reusable clothing and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of unwanted clothing and shoes, which is diverted from landfills. Recognized by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, USAgain maintains more than 14,000 collection bins in 18 states.

 

 

USAgain launches national holiday giving campaign with Boys and Girls Clubs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

CONTACT: Rasham Grewal

(708) 908-0476

r.grewal@usagain.com

 

USAgain launches national holiday giving campaign with Boys and Girls Clubs

Clothing recycler will donate items collected to local children in need during season

 

Stone Mountain, GA (November 1, 2013) – USAgain, the textile recycling company, is collecting winter clothing that it will donate to local Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the nation during the holiday season. Items may be deposited into USAgain bins throughout the month of November.

USAgain will donate winter coats, hats, gloves and mittens to Boys and Girls Clubs during the week of December 10, 2013. Clothing collected by each division office will be distributed to a local Boys & Girls Club, where it will be donated to a child or family in need. The initiative provides a convenient, accessible method for people to donate locally during the season of giving.

“We’re proud to be giving back to local Boys & Girls Clubs this winter,” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “We encourage people to use our bins to ensure that their surplus winter items find a new home with those who truly need them.”

Donated clothing may be slightly worn but still in good enough condition to be work again. The campaign is running in 10 cities where USAgain divisions are located: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Seattle.

“By providing our communities with an alternative to throwing away unwanted clothing, not only are we helping conserve landfill space—we’re supporting the Clubs, too,” said Teresa Johnson, Director of Operations for Boys & Girls Club Silicon Valley, CA that received the donations last year through this program.

To find a USAgain recycling bin to drop off winter clothing, simply visit http://www.usagain.com/find-a-collection-bin and enter your city or ZIP code. Items of all styles and sizes are accepted, and all items placed in the bin should be placed in a bag.

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About USAgain
USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry – is a for-profit company with a mission of diverting textiles from landfills. USAgain’s green and white recycling bins provide communities with a convenient way to dispose of surplus clothing and give it a second life. In 2012, USAgain collected 58 million pounds of textiles for reuse and recycling. USAgain operates over 10,000 recycling bins in 18 states and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. For more information, visit www.usagain.com

 

People, planet, profit focus of Stone Mountain textile recyclers

Read the original story on TheChampionNewspaper.com, originally published 7.22.2013

Kim-Boedskov

The folks at USAgain (pronounced use again), a textile recycling company, like to say their business is a triple win—for people, the planet and profit.

“Yes, we’re a business, but we’re proud to be a business that’s good for the environment and that helps people in developing countries and here in the United States,” said Kevin Fitzgerald, USAgain regional sales manager, who works at the company’s Atlanta area office, located in Stone Mountain.

“Textiles are the worst things you can put in a landfill. When they decompose they create more pollutants than paper or plastic do,” Fitzgerald continued. He cited EPA figures that American households discard a total of 25.4 billion pounds of textiles annually.

Collection-bins

 

“We are a green enterprise seeking to keep clothes out of landfills because all too often, clothes get tossed in the trash. Almost everyone understands and recognizes recycling aluminum, glass, paper and plastic, but unfortunately not enough people recycle their used clothes and shoes. According to the EPA, just 15 percent of clothes are reused or recycled, although all clothing and shoes can be reused or recycled,” Fitzgerald said.

“I especially like that we hold events at schools, not just because school children are growing and generate a lot of used clothing,” he said, “but because we are educating the next generation, making them aware of how recycling benefits the planet and all of us who live on it.”

“Approximately 70 percent of the world wears second hand clothes,” explained USAgin Division Manager Kim Boedskov. “In many places people don’t have the same standards we have. People are OK with clothing that’s out of fashion, a little worn or even with small stains.”

He said that while his business deals in discarded items, passing such items along as giveaways in developing nations does not help their economies—but selling them at a low price does. “Leaders in these countries discourage giving clothes to people there. People have more pride and dignity when they can raise a crop, sell it and have a little money to shop for inexpensive used clothing. The local shopkeepers get to make money as well,” added Boedskov, who said he has worked in developing African and Asian countries and seen firsthand the needs of the people there.

Kim-Boedskov5

 

In the United States, thrift stores are a growing business, he said, noting that in 2009 there was a 12.7 percent increase in the sale of used clothing, compared with the previous year. During that same period, retail sales overall were down 7.3 percent, he said, citing U.S. Department of Commerce data.

Boedskov, who is originally from Sweden, said textile recycling is more common in European countries, but even there only an estimated 30 percent of textiles are recycled. In addition to clothing, towels, bed linens, draperies and other cloth items can be recycled. Many of the items are reused as they are, he said. Others are taken apart for a second use. “In India, they often pull the yarn out of sweaters and reknit it into a new garment. Wool can be used and reused indefinitely. Even clothing that is too worn for reuse can be shredded and used in insulation and furniture stuffing, for example.” Even items people don’t normally think of putting in collection bins, including used underwear, can have a second life, he said.

USAgain collects items for recycling in its green and white collection bins, which are placed in commercial areas with permission of the property owners. Right now, Fitzgerald said, there are approximately 1,000 bins in Georgia, 47 of which are in Decatur. The company also has 100 bins in Alabama.

“We try to make it as convenient for people as possible. People will recycle if it’s easy for them. So far this year, Decatur and USAgain have recycled more than 93,000 pounds of textiles and prevented the emission of more than 653,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in doing so,” Boedskov said.

USAgain announces expansion in Iowa and Minnesota

USAgain has expanded operations into Dyersville, Elkader, Guttenberg, Independence, Manchester, Postville, Waukon, and West Union in Iowa, and Caledonia, Houston, Lanesboro, Mabel, Preston, Spring Grove, and Spring Valley in Minnesota.

Read more here.

USAgain collects 2,000 pairs of shoes at Douglasville Warrior Dash Race

DOUGLASVILLE, GA – We had a blast at Warrior Dash in Douglasville, GA on April 13. We collected approximately 2,000 pairs of shoes at the race, one of our best collection figures yet. Great job, warriors!ATL tent Shoe pile man and pile

Warrior Dash 2013 races – USAgain will be collecting shoes at all races in the lower 48 states.

Clothing recycling catching on among Atlanta residents

CHICAGO – (Jan. 28, 2013) – Atlanta-area residents diverted more than 3.7 million pounds of clothing and shoes from landfills in 2012, the textile recycler USAgain announced today.

That amounts to 848 garbage trucks of clothing. It also saved more than 21,000 cubic yards of landfill space, nearly 26 million pounds of carbon emissions and more than 5.1 billion gallons of water in 2012.

Nationally, USAgain, a for-profit clothing recycling company, diverted nearly 58 million pounds of unwanted clothing and shoes last year that would have otherwise been thrown into the trash and ultimately buried in landfills.

“This was a major accomplishment in curbing the negative impact that irresponsible textile disposal can have on our environment,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “More people are beginning to realize and understand the environmental benefits in seeking a convenient way to having their old clothing recycled and re-used instead of throwing it in the garbage.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans discard 85 percent of unwanted clothing and shoes into the trash each year, amounting to more than 11 million tons of textiles that get dumped in landfills.

“Considering 85 percent of all textiles end up in landfills, all of us need to do a better job of looking for ways to recycle and re-purpose clothing,” Wallander added. “But when zero-cost recycling options like USAgain and charitable organizations are accessible and convenient, we can have a positive impact on the environment.”

The 58 million pounds of clothing that USAgain recovered would fill 13,257 garbage trucks. It would also fill 52 football fields – or one football field a week – 1 yard deep with reusable material. Overall, USAgain saved nearly 332,000 cubic yards of landfill space, conserved 406 million pounds of carbon emissions and spared 81 million gallons of water in 2012.

“Textile recycling isn’t just a trend we’re noticing in one specific part of the country,” said Wallander, noting USAgain’s growth throughout the nation during the past year. “Recycling habits are catching on nationwide.

About USAgain

USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry with corporate headquarters in West Chicago, IL. – is a for-profit company that recycles and resells reusable clothing and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. In 2012, USAgain was awarded an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau. It maintains more than 10,000 collection boxes in 18 states and has nearly 200 employees. For more information, visit www.usagain.com.

Winter coats donated to Atlanta-area Boys & Girls Club

As part of a wider initiative partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, USAgain’s local division donated 180 lbs of winter apparel – including coats, gloves and hats – to the Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club in Decatur, GA. The USAgain Atlanta team was there to drop off the clothes and meet members and staff of the Club.

USAgain donated all of its gently used outerwear collected in their bins to Boys and Girls Clubs during the week of December 10, 2012. Donations will remain in the communities where they are collected, meaning a jacket donated in the Atlanta area will be distributed to a child or family in need in Atlanta.

The campaign is running in 10 cities where USAgain warehouse divisions are located: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Seattle.

bgca-atlanta-dec-2012

 

Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club
450 East Lake Drive
Decatur, Georgia 30030
(404) 378-8814

City Of Smyrna Recycling Education Center Offers Alternative for Used Clothing and Household Textiles

SMYRNA, GA (December 5, 2012) – The City of Smyrna Recycling Education Center, Georgia, has partnered with USAgain to host a drop-box at the center where members of the community can conveniently drop off used clothing, shoes, and household textiles for reuse and recycling.

The drop box is designed to provide an eco-friendly way to recycle used textiles in addition to providing a new revenue stream to the education center. USAgain compensates for the collections in the bin on a per-pound basis as part if this partnership. The bins will also provide an opportunity to educate Smyrna community members about textile recycling and reuse.

“USAgain is proud to partner with the City of Smyrna Recycling Education Center,” said Mattias Wallander CEO of USAgain. “Textile recycling is a huge issue; according to the EPA, Americans discard approximately 13.1 million tons of textiles annually. Only 15% of that is collected for reuse and recycling – leaving 11.2 million tons of textiles to be dumped in our nation’s landfills. We’re thrilled this partnership will help raise awareness about the need for increased textile recycling.”

“We have recognized the need for textile recycling for some time and are thrilled to expand our services to include this,” responded Ann Kirk, Director of Keep Smyrna Beautiful for the City of Smyrna.

The bin is located at City of Smyrna Recycling Education Center at 645 Smyrna Hill Drive, Smyrna, GA, 30080. The residents can drop off used clothing, shoes, and household textiles like towels, sheets, drapes and bedding. The bin will be regularly serviced and maintained by USAgain.

For more information, or to find a local drop box, please visit:http://www.usagain.com/america-recycles-day

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About USAgain
USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, with corporate headquarters in Chicago, is a for-profit company that collects reusable clothing and shoes recycles and resells reusable clothing and other textiles. In 2011 alone, the company collected 60 million pounds of discarded clothing. Recognized by the Better Business Bureau as an ethical business, USAgain operates over 10,000 collection bins in seventeen states. The company’s mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which are then diverted from landfills. For more information, visit www.usagain.com

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Kathy Chapman, Smyrna Recycling Education Center
770-431-2869, kchapman@smyrnaga.gov

Rasham Grewal / USAgain
708-908-0476; r.grewal@usagain.com

USAgain Partners with Macon Bibb Schools to Provide Community with Clothing Drop-Boxes

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA – (March 22, 2012) – Today USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, announced a partnership with 10 Macon Bibb County schools to provide drop-boxes where parents, teachers and members of the community can conveniently discard clothing, shoes, and textiles for reuse and recycling. USAgain offers education-based fundraisers for schools across the country that are designed to develop students’ awareness about textile recycling while providing a platform to educate others within the community as well.

On Friday, March 23, USAgain will place new green and white drop-boxes at the schools. USAgain compensates participating schools for their collections on a per-pound basis as part if their no-work, no-cost, fundraising program for schools.

“Textile recycling is a huge issue in this country; according to the EPA, Americans discard approximately 13.1 million tons of textiles annually. Only 15% of that is collected for reuse and recycling – leaving 11.2 million tons of textiles to be dumped in our nation’s landfills,” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “We’re thrilled to partner with these schools to raise awareness about the need for increased textile recycling and to support local education as well.”

USAgain will install drop-boxes at the following Macon Bibb County schools:
• Ballard Hudson Middle School
• Burghard Elementary School
• Carter Elementary School
• Central High School
• Ingram/Pye Elementary School
• Morgan Elementary School
• Southwest High School
• Union Elementary School
• Westside High School
• Weaver Middle School

Additionally, local schools will participate in USAgain’s Earth Month competition. During the month of April schools across the country hosting USAgain drop-boxes will compete to collect the most textiles. The top three schools will be awarded cash prizes of $500, $300 and $250 respectively. All participating schools will earn cash based on pounds of clothes and shoes collected.

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About USAgain
USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, with corporate headquarters in Chicago, is a for-profit company that recycles and resells unwanted clothing and other textiles. In 2011 alone, the company collected 60 million pounds of discarded clothing. USAgain operates over 10,000 collection bins in 17 states. Their mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which are then diverted from landfills. For more information, visit www.usagain.com.

Georgia Recycling Coalition Profile – 2011 Newsletter

Click the thumbnail to view our profile in GRC’s 2011 newsletter.

GRC thumbnail

Visit Georgia Recycling Coalition’s website