As of Nov. 1, the MassDEP (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection) is banning all textiles in any trash in Massachusetts. In the United States alone, over 92 million tons of textile/cloth related waste is discarded every year. Across Massachusetts we dispose of approximately 230,000 tons of textiles annually, states MassDEP. Our Solid Waste Regulations include that The Town of Winthrop shall follow the MassDEP regulations for banned items and recycling.
In preparation, The Town of Winthrop, DPW has entered into an agreement with CMRK, Inc., to service the town for all textile recycling and recovery. The Towns Textile Recycling Bins are now conveniently located by the DPW yard on Kennedy Drive, the parking lot of Walden Street basketball courts, and at the Public Landing. Additionally, convenient free household pick-ups for textiles and housewares are also available by emailing: [email protected] or by calling 508-466-4590. Donations must be clean, dry, and odorless. Clothing and textiles of all sizes and all seasons are accepted. Holes, stains, tears, and the like are not a reason to exclude these materials from the bin. All items must be secured in plastic bags before placing them in the bin. The only unaccepted donations are those which are wet/moldy or contaminated with oil or hazardous substances. Every piece of clothing you wear has gone through a complex manufacturing process that uses a high amount of electricity, water, and other energy sources. Recycling clothes saves energy by reducing or eliminating the need to make these materials from scratch or grow new crops to produce them. When consumers throw away clothing, not only does it waste money and resources, but it can take 200+ years for the materials to decompose in a landfill, especially synthetic materials. During the decomposition process, textiles also generate greenhouse methane gas and leach toxic chemicals and dyes into the groundwater and our soil. According to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), nearly 100% of all used clothing and household textiles can be re-used or recycled: 45% are re-used as apparel; 30% are converted into industrial polishing/wiping cloths and 20% are processed into fiber to be manufactured into new products. 95% of all used clothing is recyclable, only 5% is unusable due to mildew or other contamination. Getting into the habit of recycling our textiles now, will prepare is to be able to comply when the MassDEP mandate goes into effect on November 1, 2022. The Solid Waste & Recycling Department is excited to provide this program which will lighten the tonnage that will go to incinerators and landfills from Winthrop. Visit the Solid Waste & Recycling page on the town website: www.town.winthrop.ma.us for additional details. The Town will continue making small steps to make big changes for our environment.