JOHNSTOWN - All Fulton County transfer stations now have new textile drop-off containers, and the stations will begin accepting an expanded list of items.
Although the county Solid Waste Department has had clothing drop-off containers at all transfer stations for years, they only accepted reuseable clothing and paired shoes. The new drop-off boxes will accept all clothing (regardless of condition), along with a majority of textiles, including blankets, draperies, sheets, towels and linens, a news release said. Also accepted will be belts, hats, paired shoes and sneakers, and stuffed animals.
The free textile drop-off program is open to any county resident. No transfer station permit is needed (if dropping off only textiles). There are eight transfer stations operated by the Solid Waste Department in the towns of Broadalbin, Caroga Lake, Ephratah, Northampton, Oppenheim and Stratford, and on East Fulton Street Extension (outside of Gloversville) and at the Solid Waste Department on Mud Road in the town of Johnstown.
A new textile drop-off container is unloaded at the Oppenheim Transfer Station on Tuesday. The new, larger boxes will allow an expanded amount of items to be reused or recycled.
"This change will allow residents to divert a much larger portion of unwanted textiles from the waste stream," Recycling Coordinator Dianne Woske said in the news release. "As well as not wasting valuable landfill space on a product that has economic value, reusing or recycling textiles provides employment across a wide range of spectrums. There is a robust market for used textiles including secondhand clothing (in both domestic and foreign markets), rags, and even shredded fiber used as padding."
Fulton County has joined a statewide effort to increase textile recovery. According to the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling, it is estimated that each year, state residents send 1.4 billion pounds (700,000 tons) of recoverable textiles to the waste stream, with a potential market value of approximately $140 million, the news release said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 85 percent of all textiles in the United States are trashed, with only a small portion reused or recycled, according to the news release.
For more information, call the Recycling Info-Line at 736-5504.