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Friday, October 8, 2010

Don't Landfill Those JNCOs!

Posted By on Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Not completely useless.
  • Not completely useless.
Not completely useless.
Got a few hangers holding bad ideas? Never going to fit into those pants again?

Well, a University of Missouri professor wants you to think twice before throwing them out, even if they're too horrifying to inflict on your local Goodwill.

Professor Jana Hawley, department chair of Textile and Apparel Management at Mizzou says that textiles are almost 100 percent recyclable, yet often end up in landfills.

"Municipalities don't include textiles in their recycling streams," Hawley tells the Daily RFT.So people are unaware that even clothing stained past use doesn't have to be thrown out. Recycling facilities often have bins for them.

You probably use recycled textiles every day, without realizing it, Hawley tells us. The stuffing in your cat's bed, for example, may have started its life as someone's sock. The carpet in the trunk of your car almost certainly has a past.

Oil spills and floods are often contained using GeoHay, which is made from recycled denim. Denim can also be made into highly efficient housing insulation.

And in countries hit by poverty, clothing that we think can't be reworn is prized secondhand:

"We don't tend to pass on our underwear," Hawley says. "In the poorest countries, there's a need."

So what's a do-gooder with old underwear or rank jeans or filthy T-shirts to do? If your recycling center can take them, great. But whatever Goodwill and Salvation Army can't resell, they'll sell in bulk to rag dealers, so your mistakes can move on an have a new life.

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