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Earth Month Recycling Challenge

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Raising money for extracurricular activities is typically high on any school’s to-do list, but what about raising awareness for recycling? USAgain is proud to announce that schools can do both in the Earth Month Challenge. For every item of clothing and shoes diverted from landfills through this program, the school will raise money and foster recycling awareness.

All participating schools will raise money based on pounds collected, and the top five collecting schools will win additional cash prizes of $1,000, $750, $500, $250 and $100. Schools will be able to track their collections on USAgain website.

The Carbon Neutral Movement

windmill

It might not make sense to say the world runs on carbon, but almost everything the world runs on—like gasoline and coal—emits millions of tons of carbon. Ideally, the world will one day function with very little or no carbon emitted, but there’s no switch that can be flipped to immediately make the world carbon free. It’s an ongoing process that will take time.

Read about how businesses are going carbon neutral on the USAgain blog

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: Speedemissions

Speedemissions_2

USAgain partner Speedemissions provides vehicle emission and/or safety inspection tests at its 38 locations in fours states; Georgia, Missouri, Texas & Utah. In 11 of its 14 Atlanta store Speedemissions hosts USAgain’s green and white textile collection bins. Members of the community can deposit unwanted clothing, shoes and other textiles in the drop boxes 24 hours a day.

“We are encouraged by our partnership with USAgain to be able to collect unwanted clothing that can be reused and recycled,” said Rich Parlontieri, CEO of Speedemissions. “It takes our business a step ahead in greening the planet, while continuing to help keep our air clean.”

Meet more of our site sponsors

Twin Cities Marathon
October 6, 2013

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 12.10.07 PM (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN)
USAgain has partnered with the Twin Cities Marathon to collected surplus clothing at the event. The USAgain/Marathon partnership has been going on for several years now, with over 10,000 pounds of clothing collected and recycled to date.

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.

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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