O’Malley Proposes Curbside Textile Recycling

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Jamaica Plain's City Councilor Matt O'Malley has called for a hearing to determine the feasibility of a textile recycling program in Boston.

Richard Heath

City Councilor Matt O'Malley

“Curbside textile recycling is another opportunity of sound environmental policy that can generate revenue for the city of Boston. The city of Boston can reduce our waste stream, greenhouse gas emissions and receive payment for the value of the material,” said O'Malley to Jamaica Plain News.

Ever the environmental politician of Boston, O'Malley points out that 40 Massachusetts municipalities, including Brookline, Somerville and Natick have implemented curbside textile recycling. Those programs have diverted more than 2.2 million pounds from their waste stream.

Globally, in 2015 the Copenhagen Fashion Summit reported that 92 million tons of solid waste from fashion is dumped into landfills every year, according to a Greenpeace.org.

O'Malley's plan is to have clothing and housewares collected at the curbside at no cost to the city or residents. There are companies that pay municipalities for recycled textiles, and then reuse them.

O'Malley introduced the order for a hearing at Wednesday's Boston City Council meeting. The matter was referred to the Environment, Sustainability and Parks Committee, which O'Malley chairs.