Textile Recycling Program
The Village of Niles is excited to announce the launch of a textile recycling program through Simple Recycling. This program is offered to all homes in Niles for free starting Thursday June 28th!
The textile recycling program provides free year-round curbside textile collection on the same day as your recycling pickup day (Thursday or Friday). It follows the same holiday schedule as Groot Industries. The program operates like this:
•Simple Recycling mails out a postcard announcing the program, followed by a mailer with two plastic collection bags with instructions to residents for used clothing, textiles, and other small household goods. A full list of accepted materials can be found here.
•Residents then put the bags out on recycling collection day and Simple collects the bags in a Ford Transit van.
•Simple Recycling then weighs the material at its Chicago area facility and pays $20 a ton to the Village of Niles.
•The program is free, and waste haulers are usually fine with the program because it keeps textiles out of their recycling facilities.
•Average annual collection usually starts at seven pounds per household.
Simple Recycling has already launched the program in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Texas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Minnesota. Elgin was the first city to start the program in Illinois, beginning July 10, 2017, and Skokie, Mount Prospect, and Hanover Park have now signed contracts.
Curbside collection is both cleaner and more convenient than drop-off containers. Simple Recycling sends their material to a thrift store facility in Chicago, where roughly 30% of the material is destined to local thrift stores, 30% is appropriate for overseas markets, and the remainder is shredded into insulation and fiber for industrial wipers. While charities do collect the same type of material, Americans are still throwing away 85% of clothing and textiles even with all the charitable donation opportunities, so there is a lot of room for improvement. A contract with Simple Recycling would not prevent any resident from donating material to their favorite charity. In addition, Simple Recycling is a private company so it cannot give a receipt for a tax deduction; therefore, residents seeking that deduction can still contribute to a charity.
In reviewing the Illinois Commodity/Waste Generation and Characterization Study Update from 2015 (which calculates what is in the state’s garbage), Illinois residents throw away 333,010 tons of textiles a year! At 0.23% of the state’s population, that means Niles residents still throw away an estimated 589 tons of textiles a year. At a $47.25 FY19 SWANCC tipping fee per ton for disposal, diverting 589 tons of refuse from the landfill each year could save the taxpayers $27,830.25 annually.
This program will help divert materials from the landfill, thereby reducing refuse costs to the Village of Niles and taxpayers. It is voluntary, free and provides an expected/estimated $900 in annual revenue to the Village.
If you have a question about the program, you can contact Simple Recycling at (866) 835-5068 or their website.