Even though 95% of clothing and textiles can be reused and recycled, 85% end up going to landfill. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2013 Americans sent 14.3 million tons of clothing to landfill. Clothing and textiles include shirts, pants, socks, hats, scarves, belts, shoes, purses, jackets, blankets, rugs, carpet, and stuffed animals.
Although clothing and textiles are recyclable, they need special handling. DO NOT place clothing in your curbside yellow recycling cart. Clothing and textiles can get tangled in the sorting machines for recycling. Instead, consider repairing, reusing, or donating these items.
If you have clothing or textiles that are ripped or worn, consider repairing them. A few stitches or a new button can extend the life of your favorite blouse or sweater.Find someone with sewing experience or view online tutorials. Look for a local shoe repair shop to replace worn heels.
Consider repurposing fabrics and textiles into quilts, pet beds, and personalized home decorations. Search the internet or social media sites for ideas. Use the search terms: “recycle,” “reuse,” “repurpose,” and “upcycle.”
Participate or host a clothing swap among families and friends to exchange clothes. Do an internet search for “clothing swap” or “clothing exchange” for additional information.
Donate used textiles to charitable organizations and give back to your community. In addition, many donations are tax deductible. Some charities will even pick up items as long as the items are clean and in re-usable condition.
See the Clothing Recycling Resource List for local donation and reuse centers.
Textile recycling shreds and repurposes raw material into:
Donated clothing not used by charities are sold to clothing buyers or sent to recycling facilities for processing. Recycle your clothing and textiles. Do your part to help conserve resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, extend the life of landfills, and create a healthy environment for today and future generations.
If you need assistance with recycling or additional information, please Contact Us.
For recycling tips, news, events, and resources visit:
This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 4/20/2017