USAgain, a for-profit textile recycling company, announced that it diverted nearly 58 million pounds of unwanted clothing and shoes last year that would have otherwise been thrown into the trash and ultimately buried in landfills.
In recycling 58 million pounds of clothing during the past year, USAgain saved nearly 332,000 cubic yards of landfill space, conserved 406 million pounds of carbon emissions and spared 81 billion gallons of water in 2012.
"This was a major accomplishment in curbing the negative impact that irresponsible textile disposal can have on our environment," said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. "More people are beginning to realize and understand the environmental benefits in seeking a convenient way to having their old clothing recycled and re-used instead of throwing it out in the garbage."
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans discard 85 percent of unwanted clothing and shoes into the trash each year, amounting to more than 11 million tons of textiles that get dumped in landfills.
"Considering 85 percent of clothing ends up in landfills, all of us need to do a better job of looking for ways to recycle and re-purpose clothing," Wallander added. "But these figures indicate that when zero-cost recycling options like USAgain and charitable organizations are accessible and convenient, we can have a positive impact on the environment."
The 58 million pounds of clothing that USAgain recovered would fill 13,257 garbage trucks and weigh as much as nearly 120 space shuttles.
"Textile recycling isn't just a trend we're noticing in one specific part of the country," said Wallander, noting USAgain's growth throughout the nation during the past year. "Recycling habits are catching on nationwide."
USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, with corporate headquarters in West Chicago, is a for-profit company that recycles and resells reusable clothing and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which are then diverted from landfills, and resold to markets in need of affordable clothing. In 2012, USAgain was awarded an "A" rating by the Better Business Bureaus. It maintains more than 10,000 collection boxes in 17 states and has over 200 employees.