Textile Recycling

Textiles should never be placed in your curbside recycling cart, but don’t put them in the trash, either! When you donate textiles, they are sorted and the highest grade gets donated or sold to thrift stores in the US, then overseas. Remaining textiles or scraps are shredded and recycled for industrial uses.  They are a valuable material that can be reused or turned into new types of fabrics, yet it is estimated that 85% of textiles end up in the trash.  Here are some great options on how to properly donate and recycle your old textiles.

Beyond the Bin Recycling Directory

Click this link from MA DEP for a search engine on how to recycle certain types of materials

Drop Off / Collection Bins in Salem

Helpsy– Helpsy is a for profit B corp with an environmental mission: to keep clothes out of the trash. They have not only helped us run our Textile Drive and Swap N Drop Events, but they also have collection bins around the City where you can drop off clothing and books

– Phoenix School, 89 Margin Street
– St. Peter’s Church, 24 St. Peters Street
– *27 Charter St Lobby, 27 Charter Street (indoors, Residents Only)

Bay State Textiles – They partner with schools and communities to create a process for diverting clothing donations along with shoes, and fabrics away from the solid waste stream.  Bay Sate has partnered with Salem Public Schools offering a collection bin at each school and a rebate of $100.00 per ton of weight collected back to the schools

– Salem High School, 77 Willson Street
– Saltonstall School, 211 Lafayette Street
– Bentley Charter School, 25 Memorial Drive
– Carlton School, 10 Skerry Street
– Bates, 53 Liberty Hill Avenue
– Witchcraft Heights, 1 Frederick Street
– Collins School, 29 Highland Avenue

There are other options like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Planet Aid and other thrift stores around town.

Reuse and Re-purpose Textiles

Before you donate your old clothes, can you find new ways to reuse them around the house? Maybe that stained T-Shirt can be used to mop the floors. Can that shirt with a hole in it be turned into a tank top?

Click here for some more ideas and inspiration.

Textile Drive and Swap N' Drop

The Recycling Committee hosts two events where you can donate clothes – The Textile Drive is the Saturday before Thanksgiving in November and the Swap N Drop is the first weekend in May, click here to learn more about these events.

Fun Facts and Infographics