FAQ's General Industry

Who is County Recycling?
County Recycling is a leading environmental waste reduction and textile recycling company, contributing to the 2.5 billion pounds of textiles that are diverted from U.S. landfills each year.
Why should we consider hosting a community donation bin?
Hosting a donation bin(s) generates revenue, attracts customers and increases brand awareness. Additionally when you host a donation bin(s), you are directly helping County Recycling's community based Clothing Tree program, the preservation of the environment, job creation and providing affordable clothing options to those in need in third world countries.
How much money can our organization earn from hosting a clothing & shoes donation program?
Your organization will be compensated monthly based upon the number of locations.
Do you take away from charities such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army?
Not at all! Despite the best efforts of the larger charities, more than 2.5 million pounds of used clothing ends up in the landfill each year, leaving more than enough for other organizations to earn market share. What’s unique about County Recycling is that they are able to structure fundraising opportunities for a number local nonprofits such as schools, community centers, religious organizations and charities. County Recycling operates the Clothing Tree a community based giving program that provides local families with coats, toys and books.
Does our organization have any liability?
No not at all! County Recycling is fully insured and licensed and will provide if requested an insurance certificate naming your organization as additionally insured.
Do you provide us any marketing material?

Yes, we provide you the following collateral at NO COST!

  • Press release to local media & government
  • Awareness ads in local papers
  • Email introduction template
  • Newsletter template
  • Promotional posters
  • Handouts
  • Social media marketing – Facebook/ Google Plus/ Blogs/ Texplus
What types of items can be placed in the donation bins?

Acceptable Items

  • Used clothing
  • Paired shoes (tied together)
  • Belts, hats, scarves, ties
  • Pocketbooks / purses
  • Outerwear
  • Socks (keep in pairs)
  • Handbags, totes, wallets
  • Household linens
  • Books, tapes, CDs, DVDs
  • Stuffed Animals, toys

Non Acceptable Items

  • Non-textiles
  • Wet textiles
  • Oil soaked textiles
  • Rugs and carpeting
  • Pillows
  • Mattresses /  Furniture
What do you do with the clothing you receive?

Great question! Parts of the donated items are distributed to needy families through our clothing Tree programs, where free coats, toys and books are given to families in need.
We reuse and recycle these items in several different ways, including:

  • Immediate reuse: Wholesaling: providing affordable clothing options for needy people in third-world countries.
  • Simple alteration of use: To graders: converting clothing and textiles into industrial rags.
  • More complex recycling: To graders converting clothing and textiles into fibers to be used for industrial materials such as upholstery or acoustical soundproofing.
Are there any costs involved in hosting a recycler at our locations?
Not at all! We compensate you or your approved nonprofit (All set up charges, donation bins and monthly maintenance fees are waived)
Are there any set up charges for the “Private Label” collection bins?
County Recycling will waive all set up charges and custom graphics to donation Bins, if minimum of 4 locations are met.
How often are the donations bins maintained?
Our trucks are on the road 7 days a week picking up and maintaining our recyclers and use a state tracking system that monitors capacity levels. At County Recycling we take great pride in keeping the area around the containers clean and tidy. Any containers that are damaged or show signs of vandalism are promptly repaired or replaced to maintain our impeccable image. To report a problem with a container, please contact us at pickup@mycountyrecycling.org or call 800.261.7099
What do we do if the bin overflows?
We empty the bins several times each week. However if you see anything outside the bin please contact us and we will come empty the bin right away. pickup@mycountyrecycling.org or call 800.261.7099
What if someone drops something in the bin by accident?
Contact us and we will give them a date and time to meet us at the bin to help retrieve their lost item(s). pickup@mycountyrecycling.org or call 800.261.7099
Are the donation bins safe?
YES – All our donation bins are designed with state of the art tamperproof shoot openings. No one can climb inside the bins, they are fireproof, weather proof and cannot be easily moved. All of our bins are also fully insured.
Why is textile recycling important?
The U.S. EPA estimates that close to 10.8 million tons of textiles end up in the trash every year. If collected, these trashed textiles are in a condition to be reused as second hand clothing or repurposed for use as industrial wiping rags, insulation or furniture stuffing, among other uses.
How can our organization participate?
Organizations can sign up for County Recycling’s textile recycling fundraisers by emailing us at info@MyCountyRecycling.org. or calling 800.271.7099 and a local community recycling specialist will then contact you to schedule a collection bin placement.
How will the community know to drop off their unwanted clothing and shoes at our donation bins?
County Recycling makes it simple for you, we will send out a press release to all local media and government, additionally we provide downloadable marketing materials including posters, handouts and flyers and take out ads in local papers in order to help you spread the world and raise community awareness to your County Recycling donation initiative.
Is all used clothing, shoes and household textiles recyclable?
Clothing recycling is one of the most efficient recycling industries. Nearly 100% is recyclable or reusable. About 50% of the clothing collected is recycled as second-hand clothing. 20% is made into cleaning and polishing cloths for industrial use. 26% is recycled for use as fiber for insulation products, mattresses, fiberboard, upholstery and even re-woven into new textiles.
How can I learn more about what happens to clothing I donate and textile recycling in general?

Recommended books:

  • Travels of a T-shirt by Pietra Rivoli, professor Georgetown University
  • Salaula: The World of Secondhand Clothing and Zambia by Karen Tranberg Hansen, professor Northwestern University

A short video on Dr. Hawley and her research on textile recycling

Dr. Hawley’s article on the Economic Impact of Textile and Clothing Recycling

A sample from the book Sustainable Textiles: Life Cycle and the Environmental Impact

Doesn’t the used clothing market undermine new clothing business in developing countries?
Used clothing sales create jobs and affordable apparel in many lesser developed countries. Many people in these countries cannot afford locally made new clothing. And many people in these countries earn their livelihood by selling used clothing. New clothing businesses in developing countries can make more money producing clothing for export to wealthier countries in Europe and North America.
I’ve heard my donated clothing is actually sold instead of being given to poor people. Isn’t this deceptive and unethical?
No it’s not deceptive or unethical. Yes in most cases a large number of donated clothes are sold to developing third world countries, this includes the large well known nonprofits as well as commercial recycling and collection companies. If you dropped off your clothing at charity’s staffed location or a box marked with a charity’s name, that group will be using the clothing either by directly giving it to persons in need or by selling it to fund its charitable programs. What’s unique about County Recycling is that they are able to structure fundraising opportunities for number local nonprofits such as schools, community centers, religious organizations and charities. Additionally County Recycling operates the Clothing Tree a community based giving program that provides local families in need with coats, toys and books free of charge.
Why should I recycle used clothing and household textiles?
  • Reduces the need to create more landfill space
  • Reduces pollution created by incinerators
  • Provides low cost clothing to underprivileged households
  • Provides low cost clothing to third world countries
    Clothing and other textiles can be converted into industrial wiping cloths
  • Textile materials can be shredded into fibers and reused in the making of other products
  • Recycling textiles does much more than this. It saves the environment from tons of harsh chemicals, waste products and waste water used in the manufacturing of clothing as well:
  • Polyester, the most commonly used manufactured fiber, is made from petroleum in an energy-intensive process that emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and acid gases into the air. The process also uses a large amount of water for cooling.
  • The manufacturing of nylon emits nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with a carbon footprint 310 times that of carbon dioxide.
  • Rayon, derived from wood pulp, often relies on clearing old growth forests to make way for water-hungry eucalyptus trees, from which the fiber is derived.
  • Cotton, found in most clothing, is the most pesticide-dependent crop in the world. It takes one-third of a pound of pesticides to make one t-shirt.
  • When manufacturing clothes, dyeing requires a hefty amount of water, and its fixatives often flow into rivers and sewers. Also, all “easy care” and “permanent press” cottons are treated with formaldehyde.

*Source: Earth911.com (http://earth911.com/household/clothing-and-textile/facts-about-clothes/