Recycling By The Numbers

 

  • Weight of a pair of shoes1 pound of clothing averages about 3 pieces: 3 shirts, 9 pieces of kid’s clothing, or 1 pair of shoes
  • 2,500,000,000 pounds of used clothing ended up in land fills last year alone
  • We recover 450,000 pounds of clothing each month
  • The average American throws away about 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per year. 99% of that could have been recycled.
  • The textile recycling industry, with some 2,000 companies, removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product waste from the solid waste stream annually.
  • Between 1990 and 2003, the United States exported nearly 7 billion pounds of used clothing and worn textile products around the world. (World Trade Atlas)
  • Most of the recycling firms are small, family-owned businesses, with fewer than 500 employees. The industry employs approximately 10,000 semi-skilled workers at the primary processing level, and creates an additional 7,000 jobs at the final processing stage. Primary and secondary processors account for annual gross sales of $400 million and $300 million respectively.
  • Textile recyclers export 61% of their products, thus reducing the U.S. trade deficit. Documented export sales of recycled clothing from the U.S. exceeded $217 million in 1999 (U.S. Census Bureau).
  • Few communities have textile recycling programs, and as a result, about 85% of this waste goes to landfills, where it occupies about 5% of landfill space.

    Used clothing creates many jobs

    Used clothing creates many jobs