FAQ's Municipal

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.

County Recycling specializes in facilitating, managing and maintaining official donation programs for municipalities, schools, nonprofits, retail chains, commercial property owners and residential housing owners/ managers. Through their unique “Revenue Through Recycling” initiatives, they proudly generate revenue for both public and private sector organizations.

In addition County Recycling operates the “Clothing Tree” a community based giving program, which will provide less fortunate families, individuals and crises victims with coats, toys and other related items free of charge.

Why should our municipality adopt a textile recycling/ donation program?
Because offering a County Recycling donation program, saves you money (by reducing your solid waste output and reducing your carbon footprint), provides a convenience to the community and creates revenue to municipal programing such as recreational scholarships. Additionally you would be directly helping County Recycling’s community based “Clothing Tree program, the preservation of the environment and creating local job opportunities.
What is Post-Consumer Textile Waste?
Post-Consumer Textile Waste is comprised of all types of clothing and household textiles such as blankets, towels and sheets, basically anything woven, which are disregarded by the consumer.
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.
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 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 number local nonprofits, such as schools, community centers, religious organizations and charities. County Recycling operates the “Clothing Tree” a community based giving program, which will provide less fortunate families, individuals and crises victims with coats, toys and other related items free of charge.
Can you help us with donation bin regulatory guidelines and ordinances?
Yes, County Recycling can provide detailed information on assisting municipalities in donation bin regulatory guidelines and ordinances (creating a new revenue source)
How much can our municipality expect to earn through implementing a textile recycling/ donation program?
Monthly revenue will depend on the number of locations, the more locations the more money.
What are the costs of implementing a textile recycling program?
None! Your municipality will not incur any costs. County Recycling supplies the containers (Municipal custom branded recyclers included) and provides transportation of collected textile waste.
What are possible locations for placing donation bins?
Possible donation bin locations would be; community centers, municipal parking lots, parks and various municipal buildings.
Does the municipality have any liability?
No not at all, County Recycling provides you an insurance certificate naming the municipality and each location in which a recycling/ donation bin is located.
Do you provide marketing collateral?

Yes, we provide you the following collateral at NO COST

  • Press release to local papers
  • Email introduction template
  • Newsletter template
  • Community signage/ banners
  • Social media marketing
What types of items can be placed in the donation bins?

Acceptable Items

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

Non Acceptable Items

  • Non-textiles
  • Wet textiles
  • Oil soaked textiles
  • Rugs and carpeting
  • Pillows
  • Mattresses / Furniture
  • Books, CD’s, VCR tapes
  • Bric-a-brac, glassware, etc.

Please place all acceptable items in tied bags before placing them in the bins. This will help insure the clothing stays clean and can be properly recycled and reused.

What do you do with the clothing you receive?

Great question! Part of the donated items are distributed to needy families through County Recycling’s “Clothing Tree” program a community based giving program, which will provide less fortunate families, individuals and crises victims with coats, toys and other related items free of charge.
We reuse and recycle these items in several different ways, including:

  • Immediate reuse: Wholesaling: providing affordable clothing 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.
Who do I contact to inquire about setting up a textile recycling initiative?
Please Contact s at 800.261.7099 ext. 1 or municipal@MyCountyRecycling.org
Are there any set up charges for the “Private Label” collection bins?
County Recycling will waive all set up charges and custom graphic to donation Bin, if minimum of 4 locations are met.
How often are the donation bins emptied/ 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 if someone drops something in the bin by accident?
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
Are the recycler/ 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.
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 provide downloadable marketing materials including posters, handouts and flyers, in order to help you spread the word and raise community awareness to your municipal “Greenraiser”
Do the items dropped in the donation bins go to a good cause?

Great question! Part of the clothing, shoes and household textiles being collected are distributed to needy families through our “Clothing Tree” program, 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 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
Is all used clothing, shoes and household textiles recyclable?
Clothing recycling is one of the most efficient recycling industries. Nearly 100% is recyclable. 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. 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?

You can reduce the amount of textile products going to landfills Clothing and household textiles make up 4.67% of the waste stream. The used clothing industry makes good affordable clothing available to lower income people around the world. Clothing that is not good enough for reuse, is recycled for use as wiping rags, and reprocessed into products including paper, yarn, insulation, and padding for mattresses and carpets.

  • 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/