GRN Recycle Talk FAQ

Date: Wed Jun 24 1998 - 04:12:00 EDT

Date: Wed, 24 Jun 98 09:12 WET DST
Subject: Re: Procedures for cloth recycle (Rafael Martinez)

June 24, 1998

Dear Rafael Martinez,

Textiles are reused or recycled. If reused, they are cleaned and sold or cleaned, processed and sold. If recycled, they are sorted into hundreds of different categories based on content and suitability for different eventual uses. One majjor recycling end-product is wiping cloths for industrial uses. Very frequently the actual recycling - the changing of the nature of the postconsumer product, is done by pulping the material as one would pulp paper. I do know that many of these recycling operations are overseas, for approximately 40% of textiles collected for recycling are exported for recycling.

Whether reused or recycled, 770,000 tons of textiles were processed in 1994 by about 350 firms in the US. About 26% of that material was converted into fiber to be used in new textile products and 50% was reclaimed as secondhand clothing.

The Institute for Local Self Reliance has a publication which details case studies from the textile recycling industry:

 Weaving Textile Reuse into Waste Reduction by Brenda Platt (6/96). You can reach them at tel: 202-232-4108.

- Research Library for RCRA

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