JOHNSTOWN -- Starting this week, all Fulton County transfer stations will have new textile drop-off containers, and begin accepting an expanded list of items.
Although the Solid Waste Department has had clothing drop-off containers at all transfer stations for a number of years, they only accepted re-useable clothing and paired shoes. The new drop-off boxes will accept all clothing (regardless of condition), along with a majority of textiles, including blankets, draperies, sheets, towels and linens. Also accepted will be belts, hats, paired shoes and sneakers, and stuffed animals.
The free textile drop-off program is open to any county resident. No transfer station permit is need if the user is only dropping off textiles.
There are eight transfer stations operated by the Fulton County Department of Solid Waste. They are located in the towns of Broadalbin, Caroga Lake, Ephratah, Northampton, Oppenheim, Stratford, as well as on East Fulton Street Extension outside the city of Gloversville and at the Solid Waste Department on Mud Road in the town of Johnstown.
"This change will allow residents to divert a much larger portion of unwanted textiles from the waste stream," said Recycling Coordinator Dianne Woske. "As well as not wasting valuable landfill space on a product that has economic value -- reusing or recycling textiles provides employment across a wide range of spectrums. There is a robust market for used textiles including secondhand clothing in both domestic and foreign markets, rags, and even shredded fiber used as padding."
Fulton County has joined a statewide effort to increase textile recovery. According to the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling, it is estimated that each year, New York state residents send 1.4 billion pounds (700,000 tons) of recoverable textiles to the waste stream, with a potential market value of approximately $140 million. This does not reflect an estimated disposal cost of $35 million, which represents an annual economic opportunity cost (loss) of $175 million. The US EPA estimates that presently 85 percent of all textiles in the United States are trashed, with only a small portion reused or recycled.
If you have questions on this, or any other recycling issue, please call the Recycling Info-Line at 736-5504.