Clean out your closet month: Ring in the new by recycling the old


If the old saying, “out with the old, in with the new,” comes to mind, then do you do with your old sweaters, jeans or bathroom towels? The answer is recycle.

MassToss, the North Central Regional Solid Waste Cooperative, has partnered with Bay State Textiles for a solution to textile waste. Based on a study by the Mass Department of Environmental Protection, more than 230,000 tons of usable textiles, including clothing, footwear, towels, bedding and other fabric-based products, were sent to landfills and incinerators in Massachusetts in 2010.

Bay State Textiles works to educate the public on this problem, which is costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. Textile recycling needs to become as familiar as bottle, can and paper recycling. Bay State Textiles has developed a program to turn these textile throw-outs into revenue and lower the tipping fees on trash disposal.

Bring your old clothes, shoes and household linens to the Bay State Textile boxes, located in the transfer stations of Ayer, Groton, Harvard, Littleton, Phillipston, Petersham, as well as the Lancaster and Townsend recycling centers to reduce disposal costs. Take your outgrown sweaters, old sneakers, unwanted stuffed animals, and other household “soft-wear.”

Bay State Textiles will take it all: the good, the bad and the ugly — sheets, towels, coats, purses, belts, small toys. They only ask that items be dry and reasonably clean.

Give your refuse a second life. Eighty-five percent of reclaimed textiles will be reused and what can’t will be broken down into wiping rags or fibers for insulation, carpet padding, etc. Your old clothes, shoes and household linens are too good for the trash. For information visit

2013 Christmas/holiday cleanup list

Get rid of the old stuff to make room for the new. Make January “Clean Out Your Closet Month.”

At the curb:

All bottles and cans — (no plastic bags, no Styrofoam, no glassware or dishes)

All paper — if you can rip it, we can recycle it! (no metallic wrapping paper and no bows)

At the recycling center/transfer station:

Please note: Fees may apply to some items.

Appliances large and small

Basic recyclables — paper and containers

Bulky/rigid plastics — broken plastic chairs, hangers, large platters and toys;

Christmas trees (no tinsel or ornaments)

Electronics — anything that has a plug or needs batteries to run, large or small

Leaves, flowers, poinsettias, greenery — (no wire frames or ornaments)

Metal — from grills to grommets; wire handles, staples, stripped wreath frames

Textiles — backpacks, bedding, clothes, pillows, shoes, stuffed animals, towels; rips and stains OK, no wet, no smell

At stores:

At grocery stores: grocery bags, empty bread bags, dry cleaner bags — look for marked barrels

At Market Basket and Shaw’s Supermarkets: clean, dry and empty salt and pellet bags.

At antiques and gift stores: bubble wrap, clean foam peanuts, air pouch packing

At the florist: May accept your used vases

At the dry cleaners: May accept good metal hangers

At Wal-Mart: Accepts good plastic hangers at the service desk