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 local waste stream and in circulation.

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…

  • Why choose Ecosmith Recyclers over the other guys?

Founded in 1991, Ecosmith Recyclers is New Hampshire’s original family-owned textile recycling company. Pete and Sue Shellenberger started the company in an effort to address the issue of useable textiles and shoes ending up in local landfills. Through their beneficiary program, they have returned over $1,500,000 to local communities and non-profit groups.


  • What happens to the things that I donate?

In order to create the least amount of waste possible, we work with groups who live in areas who see both summer and winter seasons. After collecting and packing donated goods, we then arrange to have them shipped to various groups who sort what they receive with the goal of placing each item back into circulation.


  • What happens to items that cannot be worn?

Our goal in collecting material is to provide wearable items to people in developing nations overseas. And while the vast majority of what we receive can still be used for its manufactured purpose, we do receive a small percentage of items that cannot.

For those items, the groups with whom we work sort them into categories of items that can be repaired, items that can be used in manufacturing and industrial purposes, and items that can be milled into fibers for things like soundproofing and insulation.

Ultimately, around 95% of the material that we receive finds a new home overseas.


  • How does hosting an Ecosmith Recyclers bin work?

Clothing Shoes Recycle Bin NH VT ME MAIf you have a location in mind, let us know and we will look into whether or not it will accommodate a bin.

Then, if the site does work, we will make arrangements to place a quality collection bin with a sign noting the non-profit beneficiary.

After that, our team will service the bin on a regular schedule.

Last, we send out checks on a quarterly basis to all non-profit beneficiaries.

It is that easy.

Request a Recycling Receptacle


  • What makes a location ideal for bin placement?

First, it should be visible and accessible to the general public. Second, it needs to be both safe and convenient for the public and for our staff to service.

The most ideal locations are high traffic count areas like supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, schools, churches, malls, restaurants, etc.


  • How often do you service the bins?

On average, we service our bins weekly. However, every stop is unique, so we modify our schedule to accommodate the situation. If a bin needs to be serviced more frequently, we service it more frequently.

Our goal is to avoid our bins filling to or beyond capacity. 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. Please do not hesitate to let us know.


  • Do you have insurance?

Yes, we are fully insured and will provide 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 the bin, who is responsible?

We take responsibility for any items left in or adjacent to our bins. All at our own expense.


  • How much can we expect to generate for revenue?

Our partners earn several hundred to several thousand dollars annually, although it varies based upon location.


Check out our Recyclable Materials page for more information on what we are able to process.
Check out Textile Recycling Facts page to learn more about clothing and shoe recycling and manufacturing.