Boston Adding Textile Recycling Drop Off Boxes to Neighborhoods, Expanding Yard Waste Options

You don't have to throw out those old clothes, sneakers, or stuffed animals because the city is adding textile recycling drop off boxes across Boston neighborhoods. Not throwing away textiles is better for the environment by not filling up trash dumps, but also it can be reused in many ways. Once sorted, 95 percent of textiles such as old bedding, hats, and jackets are reused (75 percent), upcycled, or recycled (20 percent), according to a press release. The higher grades of recycled textiles are resold to thrift stores throughout North America, and other second hand markets across the globe. The lower grades of textiles are turned into rags for industrial use or other functions like stuffing or insulation.

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City to Pilot Curbside Food Composting and Textile Recycling Programs, Extend Residential Yard Waste Collection

On Wednesday, the city announced a wide-ranging plan with an eventual goal of having Boston be a zero waste city. The new plan includes launching a food scrap curbside composting program, extending residential yard waste options, increasing environmental education and more. "By implementing Boston's first zero waste plan, we will be a healthier and greener city for future generations to come," said District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley, Chairman of the Council's Environment, Sustainability and Parks Committee. "I am proud to have spearheaded the Council's efforts to institute curbside composting and textile recycling programs in the city of Boston and I look forward to seeing these programs develop even further." O'Malley added that expanding Boston's composting program will improve Boston's recycling rate, reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, while working toward carbon neutrality.

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O’Malley Proposes Curbside Textile Recycling

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

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Recycling bins await pickup on Centre Street, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.

No Trash/Recycling Pickup on Your Street? You’re Not Alone

The epic snow makes it understandably harder for trash and recycling haulers to reach the bins, but some residents are at the end of their patience after as many as four weeks of missed trash or recycling pickups. A quick look through complaints logged through the city's Citizens Connect app shows missed pickups on several JP streets:

Calvin Road
Armstrong Street
Barbara Street
Clive Street
Rockview Street
St. John Street
Woodlawn Street

And, of course, that's just the folks who took trouble to complain about it. If you use a smart phone but don't already have the Citizens Connect app, you should get it. Here's how.

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