By James Cherney, Retail Operations Director
This Sunday — in recognition of America Recycles Day — clean out your closets and donate your unwanted clothing and other household items to Goodwill.
Did you know every time you donate to Goodwill you are recycling? Recycling isn’t only separating the paper and plastic, it’s extending the life of things you no longer need.
Every item you donate or purchase at a Goodwill store, is one less item thrown into the landfill. It’s instant recycling! The fact is, Goodwill was “green” before it became the trend that it is today. It was founded on the business model of selling donated items and we are proud of our commitment to helping the environment.
All our recycling really adds up! Last year alone we reused and recycled 10,312,095 pounds of material, and that doesn’t even include our recycled and refurbished electronic waste. Last year we diverted 1,291,967 pounds of electronic waste from the waste steam.
Recycling begins when someone makes a donation. Most of the time items pass our inspection and are tagged, hung, and ready to be sold. Other times items might not meet our quality standards (stains, holes, missing buttons) and are unable to be sold in our stores. The items are then sold to various third-party recyclers. Some items will be repurposed into new items like insulation or filling for furniture like chairs and couches.
We also manufacturer industrial wipers (“GoodWipers”) from unsaleable clothing. Our cotton tee-shirts and sweatshirts are sorted and cut into rags for use in machine shops, auto garages, manufacturers and more. The wipers are made by Goodwill program participants with disabilities and are paid an hourly wage.
Most importantly your donated items fund our mission of providing work opportunities and skill development to people with disabilities and other disadvantages.
So why not help people in your community — as well as the environment — and shop at and donate to Goodwill.