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For Release: Friday, April 24, 2015

DEC Region 3 to Co-Host "Reclothe NY" Textile Recycling Event

Partnering with the Town of New Paltz and the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency

The Public is Encouraged to Drop off Old Clothes, Shoes and Other Household Textiles to Be Reused or Recycled

As part of this year's Earth Week celebration, DEC, along with Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA) and the Town of New Paltz, is hosting a "ReClothe NY" recycling collection event at New Paltz Village Hall, 25 Plattekill Avenue, New Paltz, NY on Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The event is in honor of Earth Week, April 19-25, which Governor Cuomo proclaimed as a weeklong celebration of New York's commitment and accomplishments to protecting our environment, conserving open space, increasing access to the state's vast and magnificent natural resources, implementing clean energy initiatives and preparing for the effects of climate change.

"Hudson Valley residents have convenient, ongoing opportunities to donate reusable textiles directly to local charities or to textile recycling events and drop boxes for reuse and recycling. Donation rather than disposal directly benefits our neighbors, diverts material from the waste stream, creates jobs in secondary materials markets, and ultimately supports sustainability efforts to keep the Hudson Valley green," said DEC Regional Director Martin Brand. "DEC is pleased to be partnering with the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency and the Town of New Paltz to heighten awareness of textile recycling as an easy way to help the environment and clean out your closet," said Brand.

This event is also part of a statewide environmental campaign to encourage residents to recycle unwanted clothing, footwear and other textile products. Collection receptacles will be available for recycling drop off from the public for one day only at this location.

"I can think of no better way to promote the sustainable reuse of clothing and textiles than with community-based events like ReClothe NY," said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill. "This partnership between the Department of Environmental Conservation, Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency and Town of New Paltz signifies a practical step toward developing a consumer culture that respects the integrity of our natural environment. I urge all residents of the Hudson Valley to come celebrate earth week and do their part to reduce waste by donating their unwanted clothing, giving it new life in the hands of another."

"While everyone is aware of basic household recycling, there's so much more to be done. Laura Petit and the Town Recycling Center are doing essential work not only in educating the public, but 'walking the walk' by finding more ways for us to re-use rather than throw away," said Mayor Jason West.

"The disposable-fashion phenomenon means that our clothing has increasing environmental costs. People are no longer throwing out clothes because they are old and torn, but because they are out of fashion. Clothing and other textiles given a second lease of life are less polluting - they save energy, lessen pressure on virgin resources and reduce the need for landfill disposal," said Michelle Bergkamp, Recycling Coordinator for the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency.

Acceptable Items at the Event Include:

  • Clothes: all items should be clean and dry; rips, stains, missing buttons, non-functioning zippers are okay
  • All footwear
  • Accessories: hats, gloves, scarves, pocketbooks, duffle bags, totes, belts, ties;
  • Linens: sheets, blankets, comforters, dishtowels, throw rugs, draperies, table linens, placemats
  • Stuffed animals

Non-Acceptable Items: carpets, rugs, mattresses, bric-brac, oil rags, wet or mildewed items.

The effort is aimed at increasing the recovery of clothes and textiles in the community. Across the United States, only 15 percent of these materials are recovered for reuse and recycling, while 85 percent is thrown out. The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3), a statewide professional recycling association, estimates more than 1.4 billion pounds of clothing and textiles -- with a market value exceeding $200 million - are discarded annually in New York State; 95 percent of which could be recycled.

NYSAR3 helps to coordinate and make sure many of the re-usable items are donated to local charities. If the items are not re-usable, but can be re-purposed, they are sent to various re-processors in New York State and beyond. Clothing that cannot be reused is shredded for wiping rags, carpet backing, etc.

For more information about NYSAR3, go to the following links:

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  • Wendy Rosenbach
    21 South Putt Corners
    New Paltz, NY 12561
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