Where Does Discarded Clothing Go? [Via The Atlantic]


Article by Elizabeth L. Cline

In Brooklyn, New York, where space is precious, it’s not surprising that many of the borough’s residents are starting to complain, loudly, about the countless used-clothing donation bins gobbling up sidewalks and serving as a magnet for garbage and graffiti. Aghast, Brooklyn Magazine commanded its readers not to use “those piece-of-crap bins.” 

But lost in all this commotion is the extent of America’s textile-waste problem, and Viltex is just one of a number of charities and for-profit groups vying for a sliver of the nation’s highly valuable tossed-out clothing. In New York City, clothing and textiles account for more than six percent of all garbage, which translates to 193,000 tons tossed annually. (These numbers mirror national averages: Americans recycle or donate only 15 percent of their used clothing, and the rest—about 10.5 million tons a year—goes into landfills, giving textiles one of the poorest recycling rates of any reusable material.)

Read the full article via The Atlantic.