A Common Thread: Queen Creek Residents Launch First Curbside Textile Recycling Program

Posted at March 7, 2014 | By : | Categories : Blog,Our Partners,Our Team | 0 Comment

We were delighted to attend the SMART annual convention in Phoenix this week, especially because we were able to meet some of the faces behind the textile recycling program launched by the town of Queen Creek, AZ. Speaker Ramona Simpson, Environmental Programs Supervisor for Queen Creek, was on hand to share details about this new program, called “Do More Blue”. Thanks to Do More Blue, residents can now recycle unwanted textiles – specifically denim – right at curbside. How easy & convenient is that?

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With “Do More Blue”, Queen Creek residents now have easy & convenient curbside textile recycling!

Do More Blue Jeans

The three-month pilot program launched in 2012 and was the first citywide textile recycling program in the USA. A creative collaboration between three local companies made it all possible.  United Fibers, Phoenix Fibers and Bonded Logic helped collect, sort, process and recycle the collected materials into the insulation manufacturing stream.

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Materials collected at the curb from Queen Creek residents were delivered to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where they were separated. Buttons and zippers were removed as the denim made its way along a conveyor belt. The final product, seen in the photo at left, was a soft, fluffy insulation material for thermal and acoustic use, including dashboard and seat filler in cars, soundproofing in dishwashers, home and commercial wall insulation and much more.

Why Recycle Textiles?

In the state of Arizona, approximately 200,000 tons of textiles goes into landfill annually, so the need to recycle these materials and divert them from waste stream is great. So far, the Do More Blue program has diverted over 30 tons of textile waste while simultaneously developing a whole new stream of material to be used for insulation. Most of the recycled material stayed local, ending up as products sold in Home Depot and Lowes. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from residential collections benefitted the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.

Do Your Part

As more and more municipalities gear up to include textile recycling in their waste strategies and curbside programs, please join ATRS and the SMART Association to promote a greener tomorrow in your city or community. If your neighborhood association, school system, church or business could host a clothing drive or a ATRS Clothing & Shoe Recycler, please contact us for more details.

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Our Arizona team, seen here at the SMART conference, serves communities in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Tucson, Casa Grande and beyond.