Why is it important not to dispose of unwanted clothing?
Every year Americans produce about 14-16 million tons of unwanted textiles from their homes and businesses. What happens to it all? Only 15% (about 2.5 million tons) gets reused or recycled, while the rest goes into the trash. Textiles rotting in landfills release methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change even more so than carbon dioxide (CO2).  Diverting clothing out of the waste stream and away from the landfill reduces the need to manufacture new clothes, which cuts down on the environmental impact of producing textiles.

Believe it or not, just about all of the textiles cluttering your closet, basement, or garage can be repurposed or reused in some way. So help Planet Aid recycle them rather than letting them end up in the trash!

Why drop off clothes in a yellow bin?
Planet Aid places its yellow bins in convenient locations so you don't have to go out of your way to drop off unwanted clothing. When you drop off a bag of clothing you help the environment by saving resources and preventing waste. You also help people in need because your donation will be used to fight poverty in some of the poorest places on the planet.

What can I put in the yellow bins?
Planet Aid accepts clothing, shoes, and other textiles (for example, bedding, towels, and curtains). This means that there is no need to separate items based on their condition. Even items that are stained, torn, or frayed can be recycled, so drop off your worn-out items, too! The only articles of clothing we cannot accept are those that are dirty, wet, or moldy.

Will you accept my old socks or underwear?
Yes, we accept old socks and underwear as long as they are clean and dry when they are dropped in the bin.

Do I have to wash my clothes before donating?
Yes, please launder all items before dropping them in a bin.

Are the bins for reusing/recycling or for donating clothes?
Both! Dropping off clothing in a Planet Aid bin is not unlike tossing an aluminum can into a recycling bin. People don't think that they are "donating" an aluminum can (mainly because aluminum recyclers are for-profit entities), but the idea is the same: you are getting rid of something that no longer has value to you and giving it to someone who considers it of value. The difference is that the clothing you donate to Planet Aid helps us raise funds to support our charitable mission. We also ship clothes overseas where they are often resold on a micro-level.  

Why do you sell the clothing instead of giving it away?
People are often surprised to learn that charities such as Planet Aid sell used clothing wholesale on the worldwide used clothing market. The vast majority of this clothing is shipped to developing countries where it supplies a vibrant used-clothing economy, providing jobs and offering an inexpensive source of clothing for the community. It is important to remember that Americans produce 16 million tons of unwanted textiles every year, and there are not enough people in the U.S. who need or want such an immense quantity of discards, which is why so much (nearly 14 million tons) ends up in landfills. That said Planet Aid does support local domestic organizations with donations, helping out when there is an acute need.

Read more about this in our blog post, “Why Sell Used Clothing?”

What do you do with the money from selling the clothes?
We use the money from selling clothes to fund sustainable development projects all over the world and to cover the cost of our recycling collection program. You can see the breakdown of our expenses in our latest annual report.

Do you donate clothes and shoes to local organizations, too?
Yes! While the vast majority of the clothes from our boxes are shipped overseas where the demand is greater, we do donate to many local causes as well. Here are just some of the ways Planet Aid supports local communities.

Where can I find a Planet Aid bin?
Use our Bin Finder to locate the one nearest you.

How can I get a bin in my area?
If Planet Aid is servicing your state but there are no bins nearby, then you can petition local businesses, schools, apartment complexes, or other institutions to host a bin. If Planet Aid is not currently servicing your area, then you can request a bin by filling out our online form.

Can you pick up a donation from my house?
If you have an exceptionally large amount of unwanted textiles (for example, you have inherited an entire wardrobe that you want to donate), then we can discuss the possibility of a pick-up. Contact your local Planet Aid.

I want to drop off clothes but the bin is full, what do I do?
We schedule our bin pick-ups regularly to avoid overflow, but on occasion, a sudden spike in the number of donations can quickly fill a bin to capacity. Please contact your local Planet Aid immediately when this happens—we will dispatch someone to the scene to remedy the matter! You can also explore our Give Back Box program as another way to send us your used items. 

How many bins do you collect from?
The number is constantly changing as we add new sites. We have thousands of bins throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Washington, D.C.

How often are the bins emptied?
We schedule pick-ups according to how much clothing a bin receives. On average we service the bins weekly.

I mistakenly put an heirloom or other valuable in a bin. What do I do?
We try our best to help in these situations, but it is often very difficult to locate individual items given the sheer volume of recyclables that we collect daily, the regular pick-ups from our bins, and the fact that we do not track individual items from a particular bin. Should you accidentally discard something please immediately contact your local Planet Aid.

What happens to materials that you drop in our bins?
Planet Aid, like other major charities that collect used clothing, sells the clothing it receives. The vast majority of the material that we receive is sold to buyers in developing countries who, in turn, resell the items as clothing, even clothing that may seem worn out by western standards. 

Can I put books or toys in the bin?
No. Our bins are labeled as being for clothes, shoes, and other textiles, and we discourage people from donating other items in our bins. You may donate non-clothing items via our Give Back Box program

Can I donate money instead of clothing?
Yes! You can make a monetary donation of any amount toward our Child Aid, Teacher Training, or Farmers’ Club projects. Click here to learn how your gift impacts people in developing countries all over the world.

Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes, you can print out a tax-deductible receipt by following this link.

What sort of projects do you support?
We support a diverse number of sustainable development projects in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Click below to learn more about them:

Where are the development projects located?
Planet Aid funds sustainable development projects in Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. We also support other charitable organizations in the United States, which you can read about on our local pages.

How long has Planet Aid been around?
Planet Aid was founded in 1997 in the Boston area. 

Where in the United States is the company located?
We are currently servicing Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri.

How much money goes to charity and how much is used for fundraising?
Planet Aid's expenses are broken down into three basic categories: charitable activities (program services), fundraising and development, and general and administrative. The latter two categories make up 15% of Planet Aid’s total budget, meaning 85% of our monetary resources go towards charitable activities. 

You can see the full breakdown in our Annual Report.

Has Planet Aid undergone review by a credible outside authority? 
Planet Aid has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance and is registered with the U.S. Agency for International Development as a Private Voluntary Organization.  Planet Aid is also registered with GuideStar and has received the seal of transparency. For more information, please see Planet Aid's annual report.


Are your tax forms available publicly?
Yes, you can view our IRS 990 form here.

What sort of organizations do you work with?
We work with a number of other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), corporations, nonprofits, local and national governments, schools, businesses, and more. Click here to learn more.

Are you hiring?
You can explore our career opportunities here.


Didn’t see your question here? Send us an email at info@planetaid.org or call your local Planet Aid!