Today, according to the EPA, Americans are generating more trash than ever before. In 1980 the U.S. generated only 150 million tons of trash, while today that figure has risen to 250 millions tons. The good news is that, overall, we are recycling at a much higher percentage. In 1980 the recycling rate was at 14.5 percent, while today it stands at 34.5 percent. This increase is laudable, but we can do better.
Americans are reluctant to go out of their way to a recycling bin or center. Planet Aid understands this and is committed to doing all it can to make clothes and shoe recycling as easy as possible.
While we take stock of our progress, we acknowledge that the overall national textile recycling rate remains low, with only 15.7% of the millions of tons generated every year being diverted from wasteful disposal. These clothing items are valuable resources that, in this age of environmental and social responsibility, should not be discarded (click here for more information about the global demand for used clothing). Clearly, there is much more work to do.
We are proud that our signature yellow bins have become a hallmark for clothes recycling in the United States (we recently appeared on the popular T.V. show the Big Bang Theory and in the movie Drive and in the United States of Tara). Our goal is that when individuals go to the grocery, the cleaners, the pharmacy, or to drop off the kids at school, they know that a Planet Aid bin is on their way, available to help lighten their used-clothing load.
Among its 22-state service area, Planet Aid collects approximately 100 million pounds of clothing every year, most of which would otherwise end up in a landfill or incinerator.
Reaching the Poor
Recycling your used clothing and shoes with Planet Aid yields more than environment benefits. Like most major charities in the U.S. that collect used clothing, we sell the donated items we obtain and use the net proceeds from that sale to benefit the poor in developing nations. To read more about our work see our program pages.