Return-It Launches Clothing Recycling Pilot Program
Waste not, want not! In the dual spirits of eliminating waste and de-cluttering, Return-It has launched a pilot program in the Lower Mainland that will give residents another option to conveniently drop off old, unused or unloved clothing while they are dropping off other recyclables at select depot sites.
The pilot is being launched in partnership with Bank & Vogue to test the feasibility of using the province-wide Return-It depot network to help collect gently used clothing, shoes and other household textiles. Bank & Vogue is one of the largest traders of used clothes in North America, the parent company to the European vintage retail chain Beyond Retro, and they operate one of the largest re-manufacturing facilities in the world.
Every year, the average adult throws out about 81 pounds of clothing and other textiles. In Metro Vancouver alone, 40,000 tonnes of textiles go to the landfill every year making up approximately 5 per cent of the region’s municipal solid waste. By gathering data and working with government and other stakeholders, the pilot program will help Encorp Pacific evaluate how to integrate solutions for textile reuse at its 170 depots across the Province. All textiles collected through the pilot will be distributed to reuse organizations and companies within Western Canada.
“Our new textiles program is about convenience,” said Allen Langdon, President and CEO of Encorp Pacific. “We want to give British Columbians more options for safely giving their textiles a second life, with the ultimate goal of keeping those items out of landfills to support a circular economy.”
The pilot program allows people to drop off clothing at these supervised Return-It depots:
- Coquitlam Return-It, Coquitlam
- Edmonds Return-It, Burnaby
- Lougheed Return-It, Coquitlam
- Kensington Return-It, Burnaby
- North Shore Return-It, North Vancouver
- White Rock Return-It
- Fleetwood Return-It, Surrey
- Langley Return-It, Langley
- Ironwood Return-It, Richmond
- Go Green Return-It, Vancouver
- Yaletown Express Return-It, Vancouver
- Panorama Return-It, Surrey
- Ladner Return-It Depot, Ladner
“We want to leverage the public’s familiarity and comfort with our trusted depot system,” added Langdon. “In the spirit of organizing guru Marie Kondo of KonMari, if we help people de-clutter along the way, that’s a bonus!”
About Bank and Vogue
Ottawa-based Bank & Vogue works with suppliers across Canada and the U.S., from thrift stores and manufacturers to large retailers. Leveraging their logistics expertise and a global distribution network, Bank & Vogue is working towards a solution for the ‘Crisis of Stuff’. With increasing awareness of the Circular Economy, they are committed to diverting waste from landfill, and finding new homes and alternative uses for used goods.
I don’t think people are throwing usable clothes in the garbage. There are a lot of places to donate clothes besides the bins. What we really need is a place to take unusable clothes. I hate throwing ripped, broken zippers and stained clothes in the garbage. I hope the pilot project is very successful.
As long as they are clean, ripped or torn clothes can be returned and they will be recycled and used as rags and other material. Through the reuse and/or re-purposing of this material, we can help divert waste in the form of used and unwanted clothing from the landfill.
Nothing at all in Chilliwack OR even Abbotsford. Why not?
We are currently piloting this program at select depot sites to test the feasibility of using the Return-It depot network. This 4-month pilot program will run until July 1 2019, at which point expansion to other parts of Metro Vancouver and other regions of B.C. will be evaluated. Please stay tuned for more updates.
Is it possible to recycle textiles that are not wearable (e.g. jeans that are beyond repair)?
Do you have a depot near comox valley?
This pilot program is being launched at select depot sites across the Lower Mainland. For a list of the depot locations participating in the program, please visit https://www.return-it.ca/textiles/
Thank you Encorp. I'm grateful for clothing recycling at your depots. Even if I had to travel to a depot, the fact that there are options is much appreciated.
Can you drop off old socks? They are clean but not usable anymore. I phoned a location and they didn't think they could accept them. Thanks!
Yes, they are. As long as they are clean, ripped or torn clothes can be returned and they will be recycled and used as rags and other material. Through the reuse and/or re-purposing of this material, we can help divert waste in the form of used and unwanted clothing from the landfill.
Suggest that we also recycle any waste textile material that cannot be passed on. As these can be made into industrial blankets, car seats, etc. as what they do in Scotland. So it is not only gently used clothes, shoes, and textiles that are recycled but likewise “garbage” textiles. As much as we can avoid filling up landfills with as much garbage, so much the better.
As long as they are clean, ripped or torn clothes can also be returned. Any returned textiles that cannot be re-sold will be recycled and used to make many different materials like rags, paper, yarn, carpet padding, or insulation. Through the reuse and/or re-purposing of this material, we can all help divert waste in the form of used and unwanted clothing from the landfill.
Is there a return depot in Kamloops
This is a pilot program and we are currently evaluating the possibility of expansion to other parts of Metro Vancouver and other regions of B.C. Please stay tuned for more updates.
Are old bath towels, tea towels and pillows accepted if they are laundered?
Yes, they are! To find a location nearby visit https://www.return-it.ca/locations/textiles/
Is the pilot program over? North Shore return-it depot worker said they only had the regular clothing bins for donation. I have clothes that aren't wearable but are clean and would like to recycle them.
The Return-It Textiles program is still active. As long as your items are clean, ripped and torn clothing can be returned to be recycled and used as rags and other material. We will pass this message along to North Shore Return-It Depot.
What do you do with the clothing? How is it being recycled?
With support from our partners at Bank & Vogue, textiles collected are distributed to reuse organizations and companies within Western Canada. Any returned textiles that cannot be resold will be recycled and reused to make many different materials like rags, paper, yarn, carpet padding, or insulation.
Are pillows acceptable under this program?
Unfortunately, we're currently unable to accept pillows through Return-It Textiles. We recommend contacting the BC Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321 or email@example.com for further assistance.