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Curbside Textile Recycling a new approach to donating old clothes

Curbside Textile Recycling Has Donated Over $9,000

A creative pair dedicated to community charities has taken their passion to the streets by offering free at-home pickup of unwanted shoes and clothing. Their mission is to reduce landfill waste while providing clothes to needy people around the world and cash donations to local nonprofits.

Seeing the need for a convenient way to dispose of old clothing, Warwick residents Melanie Flamand and Marjorie Muller started Curbside Textile Recycling (CTR) just before the pandemic after long careers in insurance and banking and a history of active volunteerism at numerous nonprofits. When the pandemic hit, the pair added food collections to their clothing runs. “We ended up turning that horrible situation into a positive for a lot of people,” Flamand said. “We had an overwhelming response.”

She noted that 78% of the world’s clothing is reliant upon U.S. donations, but only 15% of Americans recycle their clothes. CTR sells the clothing to buyers who sort them and distribute the items around the world, and three local charities are selected every six months to receive a donation based on pounds collected.

The cash donations, totaling more than $9,000 so far, have helped the homeless, domestic violence victims, veterans, children, cancer patients and others who have fallen on hard times. CTR has also donated to every animal shelter in the communities it serves.

To participate, simply fill your bag of clothing and leave it where the driver can see it from the street. Any type of bag is fine. Just notify CTR by Facebook messenger, phone (401-537-7374) or email ([email protected]). The driver will leave behind a bright yellow bag for next time. Drivers also accept non-perishable food items that are given to food pantries and shelters.

Schedule a pickup anywhere in Rhode Island or bordering Massachusetts towns by contacting CTR. Weekly pickups are available in West Warwick, Warwick, and North Kingstown – conveniently scheduled on your recycling day.

“We’re not trying to overtake any of the other great organizations out there with similar goals, we just want to offer residents a convenient way to keep clothing out of the landfill while helping community organizations,” Muller said. “Being able to donate to local nonprofits has been so fulfilling, and more clothing donations means more cash for the needy in our community. If we’re not currently collecting in your town, just let us know and we’ll schedule a pickup.”

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