Recycling clothes instead of tossing them

April 27, 2011 2:50:07 PM PDT
There's a push for New Yorkers to think twice before tossing the clothes they don't wear.

As you get ready to do some spring cleaning, keep in mind that, according to a recent statistic, 386 million pounds of clothing and textiles enters the city's waste stream every year.

Margaret Hoffman has found there's a better place for your old clothes than landfills. Hoffman wants folks to think of the greenmarkets as more than places to shop.

Unwanted textiles and clothing can be dropped off weekly at 8 select Greenmarkets, like the one on West 97th Street.

"A lot of people bring their carts, it works great," said Hoffman.

In just 3 years the program headed up by Grow NYC has collected quite a bit.

"It's up to a million pounds. It's a lot a lot of clothes," said Hoffman.

Adam Baruchowitz's company, Wearable Collections actually oversees the collecting.

"We collect all types of textiles, sorting facility, and final destination of the items," said Baruchowitz.

The sorting facility is in New Jersey. Fifty percent of what comes through here gets resold as second hand clothing, 25 percent is turned into rags, and the remaining twenty-five percent gets shredded and turned into low grade fiber products such as insulation and sound proofing.

Beating the alternative of throwing old items away, and making the move towards a good deed.

Textile and clothing donations are tax deductable and Wearable Collections only makes money on the discarded items through a per pound basis, and then donates back a portion to the Greenmarket, creating a win-win situation for everyone.

Locations and times for textile and clothing recycling:


97th Street Greenmarket, 8am-2pm
W 97th & Columbus


Union Square Greenmarket, 8am-6pm
Union Square Park, North Plaza (17th St.)

Inwood Greenmarket, 8am-3pm
Isham St b/t Seaman & Cooper

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, 8am-4pm
NW Entrance to Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Fort Greene Greenmarket, 8am-3pm
Washington Park at DeKalb

McCarren Park Greenmarket, 8am-2pm
Union b/t Driggs & N12th St, Greenpoint


Tompkins Square Greenmarket, 8am-4pm
E 7th & Avenue A

Jackson Heights Greenmarket, 8am-3pm
34th Ave b/t 77th & 78th Sts Mondays

Union Square Greenmarket, 8am-6pm
Union Square Park, North Plaza (17th St.)

If you'd like to take part in Grow NYC's campaign to cut down on textile waste, please visit the following links below: