Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What does ATRS do?

ATRS provides easy convenient solutions for donating unwanted clothes, shoes, toys and household textiles. Simply drop off at your nearest ATRS Clothing & Shoe Donation Bin and we’ll do the rest! Every donation goes where it’s needed the most and everything gets a second life. Our charitable partners receive much-needed funds from our donation programs to support local programs and services. The process of reusing, redistributing and recycling these items creates a circle of jobs locally, nationally and abroad while diverting millions of pounds of textiles from municipal landfill. It’s a WIN WIN WIN for our communities!


What clothing & shoe items do you accept?

ATRS accepts gently used, out of season, unwanted clothing, shoes, toys and household textiles. This includes new, used, gently worn, dry-cleaned, laundered, outgrown, clothing of all types, regardless of gender or size. Items include jackets, coats, sweaters, tops, bottoms, maternity wear, children’s, babies, undergarments, athletic gear, bathing suits, hats, gloves, socks, laptop covers, small luggage, bags, wallets, accessories and jewelry, hospital scrubs, uniforms, corporate shirts with logos, dress-up costumes and much more! Household textiles including soft toys, stuffed animals, blankets, sheets, pillows, memory foam pillows, towels, shower curtains, comforters, drapery, mats, small rugs and more.


Are you able to accept my worn, torn and stained textiles?

Wearable donations provide the most value and support for our charitable partners. For special recycling services like uniforms, corporate logo gear, quilter fabrics, please contact our 24-Hr Hotline.


What non-textile items do you accept?

Accepted non-textile household items include books, DVDs, CDs, bookends, picture frames, decorative bowls, vases, figurines and much more. Please only donate items that are not breakable when dropped into a bin. Please kindly observe our NO DUMPING policy and follow your city’s trash requirements. If you are unsure, kindly call our attended 24-Hour Hotline.


What items are not accepted?

Do not drop off mattresses, box springs, blow-up mattresses, futons, household furniture, appliances, electronics, broken housewares, trash and other debris. Remember, if it doesn’t fit in the bin, it doesn’t belong. Bulky waste dumping is illegal. Please kindly observe our NO DUMPING policy and follow your city’s trash requirements. If you are unsure, kindly call our attended 24-Hour Hotline.


How can I find a donation bin near me?

ATRS makes it easy and convenient. Simply call our attended 24-Hour Hotline with your contact info, city and neighborhood location. A Community Recycling Coordinator from your city will call you directly with a list of locations near you. ATRS is expanding its service rapidly and new locations are added each week. This is the quickest, most efficient way to identify Clothing & Shoe Donation Bins closest to you.


Where can I donate my larger non-textile items?

Please call our 24-Hour Hotline with your contact info, city and neighborhood location or send an email explaining what you wish to donate or drop off for donation. A list of our locations and cities appears here. A Community Relations Coordinator from your city will call you directly. We ensure your items are matched up to a charity, shelter or philanthropic business that can use what you no longer need.


How does donating and recycling help communities?

This process of reduce, reuse, recycle creates monthly support for our charities, a growing circle of jobs and economic stimulus in our communities. ATRS partners with worthy non-profit organizations nationwide. These charities receive fair market value for every pound collected, which funds programs and services in the local community. Simply by cleaning out you’re closet, you’re doing so much good for people and the planet!


Where do the clothes go?

The clothes go where they are needed the most. ATRS ensures almost everything is used, nothing is wasted.
– 45% is usable “as is” in the growing second-hand clothing market
– 20% is used for upholstery and automotive stuffing
– 30% is used for industry wiping rags
– ATRS gives away 3% for disaster relief. This equates to several trailer loads of blankets, warm wear, suits and household items every month
To date, ATRS has diverted approximately 190M pounds of unwanted textiles from local landfills nationwide. Follow our live stat counter here.


How are the charities paid?

ATRS purchases 100% of all donations collected in the charity bins, regardless of quality or type. Charities are paid fair market value for every pound of clothing received. This creates a much-needed monthly revenue stream for local programs and services. In many cases, charities could not keep the doors open or continue to provide services without the funding from their textile program. To date, ATRS has provided over $5M to worthy charities nationwide. Follow our live stat counter How does the process work?
Charities, cities, schools and other organizations partner with ATRS to create Clothing & Shoe Donation programs they could not afford to run or staff on their own. There is absolutely no start up cost or fee to the charities. ATRS funds the programs entirely. Every ATRS Donation Bin bears our signature globe logo and the logo of the charity partner we serve. It takes approximately 18-24 months for a textile recycling program to be profitable, but ATRS assumes all the investment costs and charities receive funding from the first day bins are placed in communities.


Do the clothes stay local?

All the funding stays local. It directly supports local charities, programs and services. The textiles are redistributed locally, nationally and abroad, depending where they are needed most. ATRS is a first responder to disaster relief and always provides “first pick” to our local charities for anything they need. This includes bedding, furniture, office supplies, household goods, perishables and other non-textile items donated by families, businesses and others in the community.


How does ATRS create revenue?

Like all waste and recycling industries, ATRS is a for-profit company operating entirely in the private sector – same as glass, paper, plastic and metals. There is no government support, subsidy or funding for the service we provide. ATRS provides this easy, convenient recycling solution, completely free to the communities we serve. ATRS does business by grading and sorting everything we receive: nothing goes to waste and almost everything is reused. ATRS creates revenue by redistributing and repurposing unwanted textiles where they are needed most. The net profit is literally pennies on the pound. Success depends on streamlined logistics and servicing our communities efficiently.


What are the benefits of partnering with ATRS?

Since 2001, ATRS has been a leader in the textile recycling industry. We are a SMART member (Secondary Materials And Recycled Textiles Association) and meet or beat all aspects of our industry’s Code of Conduct. We are committed to partnering with local non-profit organizations as part of our socially responsible business model and keeping unwanted textiles from landfills to create greener communities. ATRS is responsible for creating over 10,000 jobs locally and abroad. We create a favorable tax base and jobs in the communities we serve. ATRS and its employees are reachable 24/7 through our 24-Hour Hotline.


How do the needy benefit from ATRS donation programs?

Every pound collected by Clothing & Shoe Donation bins displaying a charitable partner logo generates ongoing monthly revenue for local non-profit organizations. This provides support for those in need in our communities. In addition, ATRS sponsors local disaster relief, homeless missions and community centers each month with trailer loads full of blankets, warm clothes, suits and much more. Our charitable giving increases every year as we grow. For a running tally of our charity donations to-date, follow our live stat counter How can my municipality benefit from ATRS donation programs?


How can my business host a donation bin?

Great question! If you are a municipal official, charity, property management company, landowner, business owner, school system employee or church officer, we invite you to reach out to us. We serve communities and neighborhoods in 29 metropolitan areas across 10 states nationwide with many more to come. ATRS may currently be in your neighborhood and would love to assist you. Please call us directly or email us your completed sponsor form. These partnerships really work. See our testimonials for more information.


How does ATRS support a marathon, charity walk or green festival?

ATRS provides Clothing & Shoe Recycling support and collection logistics at marathons, charity walks and green festivals across the nation. We are the official textile recycling partner of Competitor Group, Inc., and our recycling teams can be seen in our distinctive green gear at Rock ‘N Roll Marathons in many cities throughout the year. We participate in Walk Like MADD events, Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure, YMCA Turkey Dash, fun runs, mud runs and numerous other healthy community events. We are regular sponsors at Earth Day, America Recycles Day, Back To School Shopping & Recycling events and much more. Please contact our Marketing Department to discuss ways we can help your event be even more eco-minded.


I am just one person, how can I help?

Let us answer with a thank you. Every one person who has donated their time, energy and resources to a good cause has asked that same question in the beginning. Yes, one person can make a difference. The next time you clean out your closet, please look for our distinctive ATRS globe logo and support one of our many charitable partners. Consider hosting a Clothing & Shoe Recycling drive at your office, school, church, apartment complex, homeowners association or special event. Help us by volunteering at a community event such as Earth Day, America Recycles Day or one of our many marathon events nationwide. Join the hundreds of neighbors and local businesses that are already helping to spread the mission of a greener tomorrow in our communities.


ATRS does not serve my city yet. Can I mail in my donations?

Yes! And thanks for being an advocate in your community. Second, as the nation’s fastest growing textile recycler, we are expanding to new cities every year. To find a list of cities we serve, please click here. If we don’t serve your town yet, please feel free to bundle and ship your gently-used, outdated or unwanted clothes, shoes, sporting gear, toys and household textiles to our corporate offices. ATRS ensures everything is graded, sorted, reused or recycled and almost nothing is thrown away.
Attn: Production Dept.
American Textile Recycling Service, Inc.
10739 West Little York, Suite 100
Houston, TX 77041
Every item you send raises funds for non profit organizations. We appreciate your commitment to supporting our local charitable partners and preserving our natural resources. If you would like to encourage others in your community to do the same, please share your experience on our Facebook page.