Textile recycling drop off boxes are being added across Boston neighborhoods. Not throwing away textiles is better for the environment by not filling up trash dumps, but also it can be reused in many ways. Once sorted, 95 percent of textiles such as old bedding, hats, and jackets are reused (75 percent), upcycled, or recycled (20 percent), according to a press release.
The higher grades of recycled textiles are resold to thrift stores throughout North America, and other second hand markets across the globe. The lower grades of textiles are turned into rags for industrial use or other functions like stuffing or insulation.
The move to textile recycling comes from the recommendations of Boston’s Zero Waste Plan. The Public Works Department is partnering with the textile recycling company Helpsy. In just the last year, Helpsy has collected and processed more than 25 million pounds of textiles.