CALGARY, Alberta-A recent report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) highlights efforts by Canadians to divert textile and apparel waste through recycling programs. The effort is a partnership between Goodwill Industries of Alberta and the Recycling Council of Alberta.
The collaboration seeks to reduce the waste of unwanted apparel items by repurposing them into new items such as cleaning cloths rather than send them to landfills, the report explains.
“Last year alone [the project] diverted over 12 million kilograms of textile waste into various products,” explains Mason Austin, Recycling Council of Alberta, in a video interview with CBC News Calgary.
In addition to diverting landfill waste, organizers point out how the project helps create jobs and training for disabled residents in the province.
“Less than 50 percent of Albertans and Canadians with disabilities actually have jobs,” Dalia Thamin of Goodwill tells the CBC. “That’s why donating is important.”
While predominately connected to retail channels, textile waste is a prevalent issue across North America. In New York City alone, residents discard an estimated 193,000 tons of clothing and textiles per year. Similar programs like the one in Alberta take place in the U.S. as a means of reducing apparel waste. Organizations like the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile (SMART) Association repurpose goods like clothing and nonwovens. SMART converts the discarded textiles and apparel into everything from cleaning cloths to soundproofing material for cars.
To watch the full CBC interview, visit http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/textile-landfill-diversion-1.4359381.