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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2014 Archives > August 2014 > Mayor Brown Announces New Clothing Recycling Initiative

Mayor Brown Announces New Clothing Recycling Initiative

The City of Buffalo and Erie County, working with the newly formed Western New York Coalition for Donated Goods, sponsor a clothing recycling drive at Niagara Square

August 26, 2014 – Mayor Byron Brown today introduced the newly created Western New York Coalition for Donated Goods.  The Western New York Coalition for Donated Goods (WNYCDG) is a collaboration of nonprofit organizations with a mission to educate the community about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling unwanted clothing and other donated goods, while providing easy access to donation opportunities.

“Many of the clothing items we throw away every day have the potential to be reused for their original or new purposes and by giving this material to local donation centers, you can help our city further strengthen its recycling program,” said Mayor Brown, challenging city residents to take part in this new initiative to help reach Buffalo’s ambitious recycling goal of 34% recycling by 2018.   “As part of this new initiative, unwanted clothing will be resold or recycled by participating donation centers, with proceeds going to support efforts to raise further awareness about the importance of recycling in our community. I thank the non-for-profit organizations for bringing this idea to my attention and look forward to partnering with them on up-coming clothing recycling drives.” 

“It’s important that our residents know that to recycle effectively includes much more than putting our household recyclables at the curb.  The creation of the Coalition has taken the unprecedented step of providing a strong, cohesive voice which clearly demonstrates that “Reuse” is an important component of reducing our current waste stream,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.  “I think many people do not realize that even if a piece of clothing is worn or torn, it can still be recycled and that it makes much more sense to donate rather than to throw usable items in the trash.”

WNYCDG was formed through the efforts of Mayor Brown in response to a request from local non-for-profit donation centers that was made during a recent episode of CitiStat Buffalo.  The latest research shows that the average person throws out over 70 pounds of clothing a year - all that material can be used by nonprofit donation centers.  The WNYCDG is made of the following organizations:  Goodwill Industries of WNY, The Salvation Army of Buffalo, Buffalo City Mission, AMVETS and Hearts for the Homeless of WNY. 

“We are grateful to Mayor Brown for taking these unprecedented steps in support of the WNYCDG,” said Lisa Churakos, spokesperson for the Western New York Coalition for Donated goods and Director of Donated Goods for Goodwill Industries.  “Local nonprofits are now working together for the first time to educate the public on the impact their donations will have on the community.  The people who live and work here have an opportunity to better their communities by the simple act of donating unwanted goods to a local non-profit, it’s a powerful act, that will impact ours and future generations.”

“Clothing and other textile recycling is an important part of our goal to reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Susan Attridge, Recycling Coordinator for the City of Buffalo. “We plan to continue expanding this program to include durable goods such as furniture and construction material.” 

The WNYCDG’s first annual Clothing Drop-off event was held on August 26, 2014 from 12:00 PM – 3:00PM at Niagara Square in Buffalo and continues at the Walden Galleria on August 27-29, 2014 from 10:00AM – 7:00PM. Residents who participate in these first few launch events will receive a Value-Guide coupon book.    Residents can also visit the City of Buffalo website to find a donation center near them.  www.city-buffalo.com/reuse

 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

WHY DROP OFF YOUR CLOTHES FOR REUSE AND RECYCLING?

Many items we throw away every day have the potential to be reused for their original purposes or for new ones. Reuse allows you to get the most out of the products you buy and saves you money as well. Additionally, reusing products conserves natural resources and saves valuable landfill space. Clothing can be reused again and again. When it becomes unwearable, donations centers can sell the material and use the proceeds on local programming.

HOW ARE CLOTHES REUSED?

  • Primarily resold at stores.
  • Materials that are not re-sold are baled and shipped off site for re-use.
  • WNYCDG ensures that 100% of your donation is benefitting a local non-profit organization!

WHAT ARE SPECIFIC MATERIALS RECYCLED INTO?

  • Stuffed toys and pillows become car seat stuffing and automobile insulation.
  • T-shirts, sheets towels, and clothing become wiping cloths.
  • Denim becomes home insulation.
  • Shoe soles become paving material.
  • Sweaters and coats become carpet padding.
  • Curtains and drapes become stuffing for pillows, sleeping bags and animal beds.
  • Wool sweaters and materials become baseball and softball filling.
  • Velvet fabric scraps become paper money.