News By Tag
News By Place
Clothing Recycling Program, Haulers Helping The Homeless, First of Its Kind in Nation
Mayor Chris Beutler, People’s City Mission & Lincoln’s Garbage Haulers Announce New Program
By: Lincoln Solid Waste and Recycling Association
“Beginning in August garbage haulers will start picking up bagged clothing, shoes, purses, belts and other textiles at residential curbsides. Items in these bags will then be recycled with the proceeds being used to feed and shelter the homeless and near homeless in Lincoln,” Pastor Tom said.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 15 percent of unwanted clothing and shoes nationwide is donated or recycled in traditional methods (charity, drop off bins), while 85 percent goes in the trash. The EPA equates this to 70 pounds of discarded clothing per person per year, which would mean Lincoln residents throw away more than 18 million pounds of clothing per year, based on the city’s population.
“I want to commend both the People’s City Mission and the Lincoln Solid Waste and Recycling Association for coming together on this initiative. This curbside clothing-recycling program addresses at least two of our local challenges. By reducing waste and helping to extend the life of Lincoln’s landfill, this effort will also help to feed Lincoln’s homeless. This effort is simply a win-win for our entire community, and I applaud everyone involved,” said Mayor Chris Beutler.
Steve Hatten, owner of Paragon Sanitation, and past president of the Lincoln Solid Waste and Recycling Association, agreed the new program would be a positive on several fronts.“Our members have a long-time commitment to making Lincoln one of the cleanest cities in the nation. Considering 85 percent of all textiles end up in landfills, all of us can do a better job of looking for ways to recycle and re-purpose clothing. Haulers Helping the Homeless will provide support to those less fortunate and have a positive impact on the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Hatten said.
“Our members have a long-time commitment to making Lincoln one of the cleanest cities in the nation. Considering 85 percent of all textiles end up in landfills, all of us can do a better job of looking for ways to recycle and re-purpose clothing. Haulers Helping the Homeless will provide support to those less fortunate and have a positive impact on the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Hatten said.
The program will begin in August with each individual garbage hauler setting collection days. Most companies are expected to participate and will most likely collect clothing on the same days as current trash service in each neighborhood they serve. Residents are encouraged to contact their hauler for more information.
Residents are asked to place unwanted clothing items in trash bags and tie a green “recycling ribbon” to it for easy identification. The recycling ribbons can be obtained for free at any Hy-Vee, Super Saver or Russ’s Market. Place the bag out on the scheduled day for pickup.
For those who want to give their clothing directly to needy individuals in our community instead of recycling them, the People’s City Mission suggests dropping unwanted clothing and other household items off at their Toss Boxes located in numerous locations across the city.
“With encouragement and support from local city government, this innovative collaboration between various interest groups illustrates how communities can use new approaches in solving important social issues and shows why Lincoln is one of the best U.S. cities in which to live,” Pastor Tom said.