Ecosmith Recyclers’ Textile Recycling FAQ
While many people have seen an Ecosmith Recyclers bin around town, a good number of them don’t have full understanding of what we do.
In short, we bring in no longer needed clothing and shoes and work to keep them out of the waste stream locally and in the hands of persons in need overseas. We have bins set up throughout New Hampshire and into Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont, almost all of which are readily available day and night to the public.
But even if you know where to find a bin, questions do still arise…
  • What happens to the clothing that I donate?

    All clothing, shoes, and household textiles collected in our bins are destined for export to developing nations around the world. All items that can still be worn as was originally intended (as a shirt, pair of pants, pair of shoes, etc.) are worn as such. Donated stuffed animals, blankets, sheets, towels, decorative pillows, and the like are similarly used for the purpose of their manufacturing.

  • What about items that are too well-worn to serve their original purpose?

    Items that are past the lifecycle of their originally manufactured purpose can be converted into cloth for use in manufacturing and industrial purposes. Items that no longer function as clothing or rags can be milled down into fibers for use in things such as soundproofing and insulation.

  • How Does This Work?

    Recycle BinWe provide, at no cost, a quality recycled materials collection container, a certificate of insurance, and a sign on location for a non-profit group in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. Periodically, our staff collects the textiles and clothing to be processed and baled together at our facility.

    Request a Recycling Receptacle

    The bales are then shipped to underdeveloped regions in Central and South America, Africa and Eastern Europe where they are sold as “raw bales” or sorted for sale in open-air markets or bazaars. Quarterly payments are made to container hosting organizations based on the amount of materials collected.

  • What makes a location ideal for bin placement?

    • Visible and accessible by the general public 24/7
    • Safe and convenient for the public to use
    • Safe and accessible for collection by an Ecosmith team member
    • High traffic count areas (supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, schools, churches, malls, restaurants, etc.)
    • We will check out your potential site for suitability prior to placing containers
  • How often do you service the bins?

    It varies based upon the particular location, but on average, weekly. With every stop being unique, we modify our schedule to best accommodate the situation. If a bin needs to be serviced more frequently to prevent overflow, we service it more frequently. Our goal is to avoid overflows and messes from accumulating. Should an occasion arise where items are found to be spilling out, we are available any time to both the bin hosts and the general public, so please do not hesitate to let us know.

  • Do you have insurance?

    Yes, Ecosmith Recyclers is fully insured and will gladly supply you with a certificate upon request.

  • What are the bin dimensions?

    Our bins measure 55″ deep by 57″ wide by 72″ tall

  • If someone leaves something adjacent to your bin, who is responsible for disposal?

    We will remove, at our expense, items left adjacent to our bins.

  • How much can we expect to generate for revenue?

    The revenue varies with location. Our partners earn several hundred to several thousand dollars annually!

  • What is done with collected materials?

    Deposited items are exported to less developed countries worldwide. 85-90% of these items are re-used for clothing; the balance is re-purposed for wiping cloths or ground for fiber.

    More information about collected materials

Textile Recycling Facts & Solution

    • The most recent EPA waste generation and recovery data suggests that the U.S. generates 11.1 million tons of clothing and textile waste per year, while recovering less than 30% for re-use and recycling.
    • The equivalent of 15 Boeing 737 jumbo jets worth of textiles pollute the environment annually by being dumped in landfills or incinerated.
    • Manufacturing of new clothing uses millions of pounds of petroleum and pesticides, produces VOCs and other pollutants and relies on the labor of disenfranchised people in underdeveloped countries.
    • Textile recycling provides lost cost clothing to low income households worldwide, provides employment both stateside and abroad and helps lower the trade deficit.
    • Ecosmith Recyclers, Inc. is part of the Solution:
      Our bins measure 55″ deep by 57″ wide by 72″ tall
    • Since 1991, Ecosmith Recyclers have kept over 50 million pounds of shoes, clothing and household textiles out of landfills and in circulation. At the same time, we’ve given back over $1,000,000 to local non-profit groups. Join us in our localized effort to prevent the waste of reusable clothing and textiles. It’s a win-win!