Recycling your unwanted textiles reduces waste, benefits the environment and local community and leaves more room in your black cart.
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Recycle your textiles
Textiles, such as clothing, linens, towels and other fabric goods, are a rapidly growing part of our waste stream. In a 2023 waste audit, textiles made up 7.8% of the material in the black carts, or approximately 100 lbs per household per year. Many textiles were thrown away while still in good condition, some still had tags.
Factors such as consumerism, fast fashion, decreasing clothing costs and rapidly changing styles and trends all contribute to increasing amounts of textiles ending up in the landfill. We buy more, wear it less often and then dispose of it before it is worn out.
Reusing a single t-shirt can save up to 2,700 litres of water compared to producing the same shirt from new materials. Reusing textiles is also a step in reducing plastic waste since many synthetic fibres, such as polyester, are formed from plastic.
The local community also benefits from donated textiles as local non-profit thrift stores re-invest the money they receive into the community. These stores provide jobs and also support many community initiatives.
Where to donate?
To encourage more textiles to be donated instead of discarded Strathcona County has partnered with the three local not-for-profit thrift stores. You can read their stories below.
Each store accepts a different range of items for donation, but common acceptable items include:
- All clothing that is clean and in good repair
- Belts, swimwear, hats and other accessories
- Shoes, boots and purses that are in good shape
- Sheets, towels, blankets and tablecloths
- Curtains and drapes in good condition
- Seasonal clothing, such as Christmas or Halloween
- Non-textiles: Housewares, small furniture, jewellery and toys
Check out their individual websites to see what other things they accept, and how the money they receive is being re-invested into the community.
Textile collection week
During the week of May 8 to 12, Strathcona County will be offering curbside textile collection alongside the standard waste, organics and recycling.
On your regular collection day, set out textiles at the curb in a clear bag to be collected and donated to local not-for-profit thrift stores Goodwill and The Salvation Army.
Please ensure all bags are securely tied, and all materials are clean and in good condition. The County’s waste contractor GFL will collect the donations in a separate truck.
Acceptable items for donation during textile collection week include:
- All clothing
- Belts, swimwear, hats
- Coats, mittens, gloves and scarves
- Shoes and boots (secured in pairs)
- Sheets, towels, blankets and tablecloths, curtains and drapes
- Purses, jewellery and accessories
Textiles and other fabric goods made up nearly 8 per cent of the average black cart based on the County’s latest audit numbers. Curbside textile collection is being offered as a pilot project this year, and if it is successful it may become a regular event.
Try second-hand first
Thrift stores are also great places to find deals on high-quality second hand clothes and other household goods. Clothes are often donated because the buyer no longer likes it, or it no longer fits but is still in perfect shape. There are brand name clothes in the latest styles and also classic pieces, all at low prices. Thrift stores are also great places to find unique pieces that you can’t find in stores.
Find pieces you love while knowing your money is making a difference in the community.
Less waste, more style.