Curbside clothing recycling program saves Coventry hundreds in first month


COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — In the first month of its partnership with a for-profit textile recycling company, Coventry saved hundreds of dollars in trash disposal costs, Call 12 for Action has learned.

Melissa Soares from Coventry’s Department of Public Works said in April, Coventry residents recycled almost five tons of clothing and other textiles through Simple Recycling, which picks up items at the curb.

“There are pink bags out every single day,” Soares said. “If you drive through Coventry streets you can actually see them lining the streets.”

Simple Recycling will accept any unwanted clothes, shoes, purses, towels, sheets and even some small kitchen appliances.

“We were paying to dispose of the clothing in our solid waste stream $47 a ton,” Soares added. “If every person in Coventry threw out a pair of sneakers, that’s a lot of money because that’s a lot of weight.”

In April, Coventry saved $224.66 in disposal fees from the 4.78 tons of clothing diverted from the landfill, according to data provided by the town. Simple Recycling paid the town an extra $95.57 for items that were collected.

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.

The company collects its pink recycling bags on residents’ regular collection days.

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