Archives for textile recycling

USAgain Earns Georgia-Based Environmental Stewardship Award

GRC-winner-web-image

GRC President, Michelle Wiseman presenting the award to USAgain’s Kevin Fitzgerald, Regional Sales Manager at 2015 annual conference.

Read original story at southeastgreen.com

USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, was recently honored for its success in recycling and waste reduction within Georgia during the ninth annual Spirit of Green Awards, held by the Georgia Recycling Coalition (GRC).

For the second year in a row, the GRC presented USAgain with the Environmental Stewardship Award during its annual conference in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. The award serves to highlight excellence in recycling and acknowledges individuals or organizations whose actions sustain the recycling industry’s viability.

Across the state of Georgia, communities are working to be more sustainable, balancing economic growth with environmental protection,” said Gloria Hardegree, Executive Director of GRC. “USAgain’s textile recycling initiatives are reflective of these efforts, proving to be economical and environmentally successful. While reminding us to use our resources wisely for greater efficiency, USAgain has helped businesses and governmental groups increase waste reduction efforts and provide new recycling opportunities with no added costs to city infrastructure.”

The added bonus, they say, is how recycling efforts have empowered communities with “convenient options and increasing environmental awareness.”

For the past 15 years, USAgain has provided textile recycling services to the residents of Georgia, helping to divert over 58,550,000 lbs of textiles from the state’s landfills. Working with organizations, community leaders and public officials, they have helped improve the environment by preventing over 409,850,000 pounds of greenhouse gases and landfill space by over 367,383 cubic yards – or over 28,539 garbage truckloads.

“Over the past 15 years, we’ve worked to improve recycling in Georgia as more communities are sharing a goal towards greater sustainability.” Said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain.  “Mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded counties, cities, and schools have been key to our success here.”

With a no-cost, no-work and no-liability system for recycling participants, USAgain has implemented 1,300 clothing collection bins across Georgia. As the collections begin to reduce waste and create efficiency for waste management operations, they also produce revenue streams for partners thanks to the company’s revenue share program.

More than 12 million tons of textiles are discarded in the U.S. every year with only 15% being reused, recycled or repurposed. After creating 10 new partnerships in the past year, USAgain aims to grow recycling rates by continue making recycling more convenient to citizens of Georgia while improving the environment.

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.

 

 

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.

Partner Profile: Keep Forsyth County Beautiful

KFCB

A Keep America Beautiful affiliate, Forsyth County (GA) recycling centers are proud to flex their green muscles. The county’s decision to host a USAgain collection bin on its  recycling center property only increased overall recycling potential in the area. Before contacting USAgain, Tammy Wright, Environmental Program Manager, did a quick search of textile recycling businesses in the area.

“Actually, it was hard to find info on similar companies,” said Tammy. But USAgain’s website clearly described the company’s services and benefits, she said.

Tammy was particularly worried about a clothing collection bin becoming a messy dumpsite, not regularly maintained or emptied. “USAgain has been great about taking care of the bin and cleaning it up,” she said.

Georgia residents have plenty of opportunities to recycle. Convenience can often make the difference between regular recycling collections and no collections at all. USAgain provides collection bins at convenient locations for exactly that reason.

“Having too many collection sites isn’t a concern,” said Tammy. “I’d encourage people to host a bin.”

Forsyth County recycling centers:

Tolbert Street Center
351 Tolbert Street
Cumming, GA 30040
770.781.2176

Old Atlanta Center
3678 Old Atlanta Road
Suwanee, GA 30024
770.205.3010

Coal Mountain Center
3560 Settingdown Road
Cumming, GA 30028
770.781.2071

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