Greenwich Launches Townwide Textile Recycling Program

New Textile Recycling Program to Support Waste Reduction Education
Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board (GRAB), in partnership with The Town of Greenwich, announces a new textile recycling program in Greenwich.

The initiative is part of a broader commitment by the Town of Greenwich to sustainability and waste reduction.

“The Town of Greenwich is excited by the new partnership with Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board (GRAB) that will add the recycling of textiles to our ever expanding list of materials that avoid the solid waste heap,” said First Selectman Fred Camillo in a release. “In doing so, GRAB is collaborating with Fairco-Greentree in a joint effort that will reduce waste in Town, increase recycling and even add revenue to be used to promote the greening of Greenwich. Our goal is to be the environmental gold standard of Connecticut, and this is another positive step in that direction.”

GRAB is partnering with Fairco-Greentree Recycling, a Fairfield-based, for-profit enterprise that provides no cost, environmentally friendly textile collection services to reallocate unwanted textiles to those in need. Over the past few years, Fairco-Greentree has partnered with Greenwich High School clubs and the Greenwich Rotary Club in their fundraising efforts. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to GRAB towards education and community outreach about recycling and other waste diversion strategies.

“We are excited to work with GRAB and the Town of Greenwich. We are part of a new trend in the salvage business which aims to support the employment of more workers to keep textiles out of the landfill and provide shoes and clothes to people in need via the secondary marketplace,” said James Clemente of Fairco-Greentree.

green donation bins at Greenwich High School

Bins are now available for the residential collection of clothing, shoes, accessories, towels and bedding of any condition in convenient locations around town. All dry and odorless textiles, with the exception of stuffed animals, rugs and pillows, are accepted. Locations of collection bins include:

Currently available:

• Eastern Greenwich Civic Center: northwest corner of parking lot (Temporary hours: 8:30-4:30 Monday-Friday)

• Arch Street Teen Center: at front entrance

• Holly Hill: next to the office trailer and plastic bag/shredded paper recycling containers

• Nathaniel Witherell: right side of building toward secondary parking lot

Coming soon:

• Town Hall: to be sited at the parking lot once construction is complete

• Cos Cob: to be sited at the parking lot between the Cos Cob library and fire station

The goal of the program is to divert textiles from the waste stream to conserve natural resources, prevent pollution, create jobs and reduce the volume of waste incinerated. Further, as many donation sites are currently closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, there has been an increased demand for entities that accept textiles, and the program can fill this need.

GRAB member Julie DesChamps said that in the US, 85% of textiles are tossed in the trash, but nearly all can be reused and recycled as secondhand clothing, rags and even building materials.

“Given their value on the secondary market and massive environmental footprint, no textile should be trashed,” DesChamps said. “The collaboration with Fairco-Greentree affords Greenwich residents a sustainable option to divert this valuable material from the municipal waste stream and provides benefits to our community and the environment.”