Know Where to Throw: Keeping Our Neighborhoods Clean & Green
How much do you know about Clothing & Shoe Recyclers? Even if you drive by these 5×5 receptacles on a daily basis, you may not know they collect our unwanted goods. They also reduce our landfill waste, limit carbon emissions (the equivalent of removing 1 million cars from American highways each year) and provide much needed funding to local nonprofit organizations. But what happens when community members don’t Know Where to Throw?
The above photo features a bin in San Antonio, but this scene can be found in other ATRS markets where residents, business owners and contractors are uninformed about what bins do and do not accept. ATRS Clothing & Shoe Recyclers collect a variety of fabric items, including clothing, shoes, soft toys and household textiles such as blankets, pillows, sheets and towels. The narrow theft-proof chute is designed for safety and limits the size of donations for drop off. Each bin bears a clear warning: “No Mattresses, No Furniture & No Appliances.”
Unfortunately, bulky waste dumping has become an epidemic in many of our communities. When the bin chutes are blocked by large, non-textile items like mattresses, tires, appliances and construction supplies, it has a devastating effect on us all. Residents can’t drop off their donations, ATRS uniformed drivers can’t service the bins, the total number of pounds diverted in our communities decreases and the charity that benefits from the collections suffers.
So what can you do to help us combat this problem? First, Know Where to Throw! Abide by the instructions listed on all trash and recycling receptacles located throughout your city. A great rule of thumb is “If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t belong”. You can also visit your city’s waste management website – like San Antonio’s Solid Waste Management Department page – for more information before you head out to recycle.
Second, become a community advocate. If you witness illegal dumping in your neighborhood, take a photo and report it immediately. If you see an ATRS bin that is littered with excessive trash or that has been vandalized, post a photo using the hashtag #bincheck on Twitter (bonus points if you include an address) to let us know!
Third, spread the word. Start by sharing our short, animated Know Where to Throw video with your friends and family on social media. Engage your peers in a conversation on the benefits textile recycling has for your community, and how we can all work together for a greener tomorrow.