Recycling in Atlanta is on the rise thanks to April clothing drives held in City Hall and neighboring areas of Cobb County.
The surge in recycling opportunities began during a week-long textile recycling initiative with partner USAgain within the walls of City Hall. The drive, held in support of Cartlanta, included two indoor collection bins that yielded 468 pounds of clothing and shoes. Coinciding with Earth Day, the collection culminated with a “recycled fashion show” and had an environmental impact of saving 655,200 gallons of water and 3,276 pounds of Co2 emissions.
Additional collection events in nearby areas were held in conjunction with Keep Cobb County Beautiful at Jim R Miller Park and Sprayberry High School. These added an additional 947 pounds of textile recyclables to the areas efforts, resulting in the reduction of 6,629 lbs of carbon emissions and saving 52,300 gallons of water.
Setting the standards high, Atlanta city planners were enthusiastic about the opportunity to take lead in an effort to expand recycling with added convenience for residents.
With no-added costs to city infrastructure, USAgain’s textile recycling programs make it easier for communities to take recycling to the next level and beyond the traditional categories of paper, plastic, aluminum and glass. Atlanta, a city known for it’s thriving business communities, has been working hard to create a culture of recycling. City-wide initiatives have improved recycling rates from 19 percent in 2010 to a current rate of 30 percent, which is just below the national average of 34 percent. While progress has been made the city continues to work towards it’s goal of a 90 percent waste-to-landfill rate by 2020.
The EPA estimates that the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year and the majority of which accumulates with an estimated 12 millions tons of annual textile waste in landfills By depositing surplus clothing and shoes for recycling in a USAgain bin, residents can increase recycling rates while diverting waste from local landfiills and conserving natural resources across the globe.
Community organizers hope that as this program grows, awareness amongst residents will increase.