February 15 2017

Town Considering Curbside Textile Recycling Program

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Board of Selectmen voted 5-0 on Monday night to give Department of Public Works Director John Sanchez the go-ahead to enter into contract discussion with a company looking to reduce the amount of trash is dumped in landfills.


The company is WasteZero, a certified B Corporation, and the proposal before the town is curbside textile collection and recylcing.


According to BCorporation.net, “B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”


Sanchez said that typically about 95 percent of unwanted textiles go into the trash rather than being donated. They include old clothes, hats, gloves and things like that.


“The idea is to offer another outlet to the residents so they can dispose of it and it will not go to incinerator,” Sanchez told the board.


WasteZero would give bags to residents who request them who could then fill them with unwanted cloth materials and leave the bags next to their trash on pick-up days. Any bags left will be replaced with another for future use.


Sanchez said the clothes and other textile materials would be brought to a sorting facility. Those in good condition would be sold to thrift shops while those of “second tier” quality would be shipped overseas for markets in developing countries. The rest would be made into carpets, insulation or something similar.


The DPW director said the program would not cost the town any money and it may actually help it save on trash disposal costs by lowering the amount of waste thrown out.

“The town pays $70 per ton of trash so anything we can divert from that saves us money,” Sanchez explained.


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