Business

Return-It expands used clothing drop-off program

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:42 PST, Fri November 15, 2019

Last Updated: 11:43 PST, Thu November 28, 2019

Old garments are getting a new lease on life.

Following a successful pilot project earlier this year, Return-It locations in Richmond are now permanently accepting used clothing, shoes and household textiles.

Since the province-wide program debuted seven months ago, more than 1,640 bags of textiles (weighing more than 26 metric tonnes) have been collected. 

“The average adult throws out about 81 pounds of clothing and other textiles every year,” said Allen Langdon, president and CEO of Return-It. “In Metro Vancouver alone, 40,000 tonnes of textiles end up in the landfill annually, making up approximately five per cent of the region’s municipal solid waste. Those numbers provide a clear rationale for our new expanded program.”

Items ranging from shirts, pants and coats to sheets, curtains and slippers are included among the list of acceptable textiles.

Return-It has partnered with Bank & Vogue—one of the largest traders of used clothing in North America—to pursue a shared mandate of diverting waste from landfill. Items collected through the program are distributed to re-use organizations within Western Canada.

“Most of us have unused or unloved clothing taking up space at home,” added Langdon. “Now, more B.C. residents can conveniently recycle textiles while they’re returning refundable beverage containers and other items. Given the positive feedback from the pilot, I’m optimistic we’ll be able to continue to expand the program across the province.” 

Old clothing items currently account for about five per cent of the region’s municipal solid waste.

The Richmond locations participating in the program include Ironwood Bottle Depot, OK Bottle Depot and Richmond Return-It Bottle Depot.

Return-It is an industry owned, not-for-profit, product stewardship agency with beverage container management as its core business. Celebrating its 25th anniversary and over 20 billion beverage containers diverted from the landfill, its mandate is to develop, manage and operate a cost-effective system for the responsible collection and recycling of beverage containers across the province.

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