COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) – A local community is launching a new program to help consumers recycle clothes and shoes right at the curb.
Coventry partnered with Simple Recycling, a for-profit company, that will pick up unwanted clothes, shoes, purses, towels, sheets and even some small kitchen appliances, according to Melissa Soares from the town’s Department of Public Works.
“It’s all sorted,” Soares explained. “Some of them are sent to be sold directly as is. Other items are broken down and reused and repurposed, so the raw fabric will become something else.”
According to Simple Recycling, the average person throws away 68 pounds of clothing per year. Only about 15% of textiles are recycled, according to the EPA.
“We don’t want to take any of those donations away from our regular charitable organizations,” Soares added. “This is really just to capture those items that might not be suitable to be donated to a Savers or Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
Currently, Coventry pays $47 per ton to dispose of solid waste.
According to an annual town report, Coventry saved more than $800,000 in 2018 by diverting items away from the landfill. The town expects to see more savings this year because of its new partnership with Simple Recycling.
“We’re hoping to really see a difference in the amount of trash we dispose of,” Soares said.
Simple Recycling’s pink bags will be picked up on residents’ regular collection day.
The program is free for Coventry and its residents.