3 bags gone, lots more to do: textile recycling made easy in Manchester

I’d put my two bags out on the porch on Friday night – just in case Helpsy arrived early. They finally arrived in the afternoon, so Jim managed to throw a third bag there. Score! Photo/Carol Robidoux

MANCHESTER, NH – I was oddly excited to try out the town’s new textile recycling service. Thanks to a partnership with Helpsy, the textile recycling process is simple. The overarching goal is to reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill – in 2021 alone, the company diverted nearly 30 million pounds of textiles from landfill through a combination of clothing drives, curbside pickups homes, thrift store partners and clothing receptacles.

I started by going to the city’s website, finding the highway department page where I found a section on “textile recycling”, and there a link to Helpsy’s planning page. I selected the next available date, which was in a few days, a Saturday.

I had already started packing some things a few months ago, but decided to put it on hold until the textile recycling program was up and running.

Like I said, I was oddly excited to try this.

This would be my chance to test out a service that should take half the hassle out of moving unwanted clothes. For me, it is easy to pack the items. Putting them in my car and deciding where to take them is where I usually get stuck.

Part of the problem is that you could take them to any place – Savers, Salvation Army, Goodwill or even a consignment if, unlike me, you are buying quality clothing that is timeless and made to last – and have some resale value. . But if you’re like me, you tend to cling too long to clothes that aren’t too fancy and really don’t make sense to you anymore, and when the time comes, you just want them to come off. go.

For you, this service will be a game-changer.

For those who might have reservations about the city partnering with a for-profit company to handle textile recycling, maybe it’s your thinking that needs to change. We often consider our castaway clothes good enough to be given to “the less fortunate”. And while that’s noble, to be honest, there are just too many unwanted clothes flooding the used clothing market.

So even if you arrive at Savers and drop off a few bags thinking the pants you’ve been past might bring joy to someone out of luck here in Manchester, your stuff is more likely to be sold at another textile service. who will resell it to a company or organization that will source it from a thrift store elsewhere in the United States – or even in Africa, where 70% of global donations end up. That, or they’ll be turned into industrial rags.

The best thing you can do, before recycling your clothes, is to think about what you’re buying in the first place, and why – and from where. If you haven’t considered thrift, you might be surprised at what’s out there, including local consignment stores.

In the meantime, if you have too much to do in your closet, consider trying the town’s recycling service.


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