Bright Idea: Get a free clothes-recycling bin for your basement

By Lauren Shalit  | June 16, 2010 - 10:22AM
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Like many other NYC apartment dwellers, we dread the tedium of closet-cleaning as well as the backbreaking postscript of hauling our cast-offs to the nearest thrift store.

So we were very interested to read a recent New York Times mention of a for-profit organization that places free clothing recycling bins in apartment buildings across the city.

Six-year-old New York-based Wearable Collections will install a bin in any building that asks for one, and it empties them once a week.

Excommunicated duds are sorted into “wearable” versus “un-wearable.” The “wearable” clothing is sent to Central and South America where it is sold by the pound.

“Un-wearable” clothing is often reprocessed as new product filler or rags, among other things.

Buildings can direct 20% of the gross proceeds from their haul into the coffers of their favorite charity.  However, a tax receipt is only distributed when clothing is brought to one of nine greenmarket stands operated by Wearable Collections.

Michael Sorel, Wearable's president, says the company hopes to ultimately reduce landfill waste. 

The most successful in-house recycling programs occur  in buildings where “there is a green-minded person…it’s good to have a soldier on our side.”   

To request a bin, click here.

More Bright Ideas:

Start a bike-loan program in your building

A cure for stroller-strewn halls

Put a hand-sanitzer in the lobby


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