USAgain, a company that helps divert millions of pounds of clothing and textiles from landfills each year, has expanded its operations in northern Iowa. Green and white USAgain bins were recently placed at three Emmetsburg businesses: Food Pride, Dyno's, and Hometown Convenience.
USAgain provides area residents with an eco-friendly way to discard unwanted clothing, shoes, and other textiles in their conveniently located drop boxes. Items are picked up by USAgain personnel once a week, or more if needed.
"Textile recycling is an important environmental issue. According to the EPA, Americans create approximately 12.4 million pounds of textile waste each year and about 85-percent of that goes directly into landfills," said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. "Our expansion in Iowa will help communities keep clothing and textiles out of landfills, providing them with a convenient and eco-friendly way of disposing of unwanted clothes."
Area residents may drop off unwanted clothing, shoes, and other textiles at the green and white USAgain drop boxes located at Food Pride, Hometown Convenience, and Dyno’s in Emmetsburg. The items will be recycled—either sold by thrift stores or clothing wholesalers, sent overseas, or distributed to textile recyclers for other uses. Pictured above (from left) are Donald Joyce, assistant manager at Dyno’s, and Tracy Fischer, who is depositing unwanted clothing. --Lori Hall photo
USAgain, head-quartered in Chicago, has been operating in Iowa 2008. The new bins will be placed in partnership with businesses, which will be compensated for each pound of clothing they collect. Residents can deposit unwanted clothing, shoes and other textiles in USAgain drop boxes, which are monitored and serviced regularly.
The clothing is brought to regional warehouses where it is sorted and then goes to thrift stores, clothing wholesalers, is sold overseas, or goes to textile recyclers that shred the items to make insulation for dishwashers, housing, the automobile industry and mattress padding. Non-reusable shoes are ground up to make raw materials for sidewalks, running tracks, playground mulch, and carpet padding.
In 2010 alone, USAgain collected 56 million pounds of discarded clothing. The company operates over 10,000 collection bins in 15 states. Their mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which are then diverted from landfills. For more information, visit www.usagain.com.