Textile Recycling Program
The Village of Niles is excited to offer a textile recycling program through Simple Recycling to Niles residents. This program has been offered to all single-family homes in Niles for free since June 28, 2018.
The textile recycling program provides free year-round curbside textile collection on the same day as your recycling pickup day (Thursday or Friday). Textile bags are placed out with resident’s regular garbage and recycling container on their normal pickup day and pickup location. Electronics and textiles (all materials on the list) should be placed in the orange bags. Textile recycling pickup follows the same holiday schedule as Groot Industries. The program operates like this:
•Simple Recycling mails out a postcard announcing the program, followed by a mailer with two plastic collection bags with instructions to residents for used clothing, textiles, and other small household goods. A full list of accepted materials can be found here.
•Residents then put the bags out on recycling collection day in the same location as their garbage and recycling containers from Groot, and Simple Recycling collects the bags in a Ford Transit van.
•Simple Recycling then weighs the material at its Chicago area facility and pays $20 a ton to the Village of Niles.
•The program is free and waste haulers are ok with the program because it keeps textiles out of their recycling facilities.
•Average annual collection usually starts at seven pounds per household.
Simple Recycling has programs in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Texas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Minnesota. Elgin was the first city to start the program in Illinois, beginning July 10, 2017, and several other municipalities in the area have now signed contracts.
Curbside collection is both cleaner and more convenient than drop-off containers. Simple Recycling sends their material to a thrift store facility in Chicago, where roughly 30% of the material is destined to local thrift stores, 30% is appropriate for overseas markets, and the remainder is shredded into insulation and fiber for industrial wipers. While charities do collect the same type of material, Americans are still throwing away 85% of clothing and textiles even with all the charitable donation opportunities, so there is a lot of room for improvement. A contract with Simple Recycling would not prevent any resident from donating material to their favorite charity. In addition, Simple Recycling is a private company so it cannot give a receipt for a tax deduction; therefore, residents seeking that deduction can still contribute to a charity.
In reviewing the Illinois Commodity/Waste Generation and Characterization Study Update from 2015 (which calculates what is in the state’s garbage), Illinois residents throw away 333,010 tons of textiles a year! At 0.23% of the state’s population, that means Niles residents still throw away an estimated 589 tons of textiles a year. At a $47.25 FY19 SWANCC tipping fee per ton for disposal, diverting 589 tons of refuse from the landfill each year could save the taxpayers $27,830.25 annually.
This program will help divert materials from the landfill, thereby reducing refuse costs to the Village of Niles and taxpayers. It is voluntary, free and provides an expected/estimated $900 in annual revenue to the Village.
Simple Recycling will accept the following materials of individual weight less than fifty (50) pounds and able to be carried by one person: men’s, women’s and children’s clothing as well as items such as jewelry, shoes, purses, hats, toys, pictures, mirrors, blankets, drapes and curtains, pillows, rags, sewing scraps, sleeping bags, small furniture, small appliances, irons, radios and audio equipment, cameras, lamps, hairdryers, tools, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, silverware, dishes, pots and pans, glasses and the like.
If you have a question about the program, you can contact Simple Recycling at (866) 835-5068 or their website.
***Please note that this program is only available to single family homes. Simple Recycling does not service apartment or multi-family units or businesses at this point.