Stop throwing out worn clothes: Seattle program recycles fabrics

People in Seattle and King Co. trash an estimated 40,000 tons of clothing, textiles, and shoes each year. Waste managers are trying to reduce the waste by encouraging people to recycle their old clothes for free.

SEATTLE - People in Seattle and King County trash an estimated 40,000 tons of clothing, textiles, and shoes each year, according to Seattle Public Utilities.

“That’s a huge amount of waste, and it’s something that people can do something about right now,” said Liz Fikejs, SPU senior conservation program manager.

Waste managers are trying to reduce that staggering figure in 2017 by encouraging people to recycle their torn jeans, stained t-shirts, and worn-out socks for free.

Related: Seattle company recycles old clothes into new fabrics and cars

The Threadcycle campaign, a joint project of King County Solid Waste Division and Seattle Public Utilities, allows people to drop off old clothing at dozens of sites.

Nine organizations are accepting discarded textiles, including Big Brothers Big Sisters Puget Sound, Goodwill, Northwest Center, The Salvation Army, Seattle Goodwill, SightConnection, TexGreen, USAgain, and Value Village.

The fabrics, which aren’t suitable for the second-hand market, are recycled and turned into rags, insulation, and sound proofing materials.

“They don’t belong in the garbage anymore,” Fikejs said.

Learn what items are accepted and where to take them at kingcounty.gov/threadcycle

Copyright 2017 KING


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