Green Living

California Sets Ambitious Goal to Reduce Waste by 2020

Posted at June 19, 2013 | By : | Topics : Green Living

Did you know? Many states across the nation have set ambitious waste reduction goals to be met by 2020. For example, the California State Legislature and Governor Brown set an ambitious goal to reduce its solid waste by 75 percent by 2020. In order to meet this AB 341 75% Initiative California residents must move about 22 million more tons of recyclables out of the local waste disposal stream and into the recycling stream. This means there’s a great need for more recycling programs across California and of course more participation from municipalities, communities and families.

Textile Recycling

Facts and Stats: The US-EPA reports that we recycle a mere 15% of all unwanted clothing, shoes and household textiles. The remaining 85% is clogging up our municipal landfills. This is one great place to improve statewide recycling. According to Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) in a CA Statewide Waste Characterization Study, discarded Textiles account for an estimated 2.2% of overall Residential Disposed Waste. That’s a whopping 886,814 tons or 1,773,628,000 (billion) pounds. This is a giant number of course but still may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the shortfall of 22 million tons still needed for recycling..

Textile Recycling Makes Big News: Fortunately, textile recycling is quickly becoming big news in California. A recent article in NPR points out that “textile recycling is a huge international industry“. While cities and jurisdictions look for new and more efficient methods of extracting recyclables from the waste stream, curbside recycling programs and neighborhood clothing recycling bins like those operating by ATRS have captivated the media as “the next big thing.”

How ATRS is Helping: Last month several of us from the ATRS Southern California team spent an afternoon talking, brainstorming and sharing our ideas with the folks at CalRecycle. We also met with council men and women in Sacramento to share best practices from our industry and were warmly welcomed. We’re eager to do our part. Our mission is to highlight the work being done by the textile industry in USA since 1932 as a free service all across the nation. Join us in keeping California clean and creating a greener tomorrow for all!

Get Involved: Dozens of cities and business owners in Southern California have partnered with ATRS to host easy, convenient clothing and shoe recycling programs with more to come in the next few months. If you are eager to participate and improve our state mandate, consider hosting a recycler at your business, shopping center, school or in your city.