Textiles Recycling Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the Return-It Textiles Program

1. Why is Return-It launching this program?

Return-It has identified used clothing as a waste issue. 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. We hope this new initiative will help address that challenge, and support a circular economy.

2. Is this program a response to the issue of donation bin safety? Why now?

Return-It has been aware that textiles are ending up in landfills for some time. While we are also aware of the recent issue of donation bin safety, the launch of this pilot is not related to that unfortunate issue.

3. Won’t this program take donations – and therefore revenue – away from charities?

We encourage British Columbians to continue donating clothing, and any other useful items, to their preferred charity. We are simply providing another convenient option for dropping off used or unwanted clothing, to keep these items out of the waste stream.

4. What will happen to the clothes once they’ve been dropped off at a participating depot? Do they get recycled?

All textiles collected through the pilot will be distributed to reuse organizations and companies within Western Canada.  Rather than being recycled, they will be reused and re-purposed.

5. Why did you identify Bank & Vogue as your program partner?

Bank & Vogue is a recognized leader in waste reduction – specifically for used clothing and other textiles. As a Canadian partner, they share our vision for supporting a circular economy, and keeping waste out of landfills.

6. Why isn’t there a deposit on textiles, just like there is for drink containers?

There is presently no plan to introduce a deposit on textiles. This program is simply intended to keep clothing out of landfills.

7. What items are accepted through this program?

Clothing including Shirts, Dresses, Shorts, Jeans, Undershirts, Baby and Children Clothes. Footwear including Shoes, Boots, Gym Shoes,  and Slippers. Household textiles including Sheets, Towels, Curtains & Drapes, Blankets and Table Linens