The average person throws away 37 kilograms of clothing and textiles every year, amounting to almost 10 metric tonnes sent to landfills in North America alone.
Here in Cranbrook, much is donated to the town’s busy thrift stores and second hand stores, but there is still an awful lot of used clothing and fabric on hand, looking for a place to go.
There is now another new option for recycling clothing and textiles, recently arrived in Cranbrook courtesy of Diabetes Canada, whose “Clothesline” recycling program makes it convenient to donate reusable clothing year-round, through donation bins placed in five Cranbrook locations, thus redirecting clothing and textiles from the waste stream and going on to resale to support Diabetes Canada.
“We just put the bins in two weeks ago,” said Adrian White, BC Territory Manager for Diabetes Canada.
“We’ve been around for about 32 years, on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. But we’ve been looking to expand — first of all, because there’s tons of clothing and textiles [going to waste].”
White said it’s estimated the 85 per cent of all clothing and textiles do not get recycled or redirected from landfills.
“It’s important that we not only raise funds for diabetes, but that we do so in a way that makes a positive difference to the envionment by diverting items from our landfills.
“There are thrift stores in Cranbrook that do this already, and we’re not taking any business away from them — there’s more than enough. I’ve been to the Salvation Army thrift store, and there are hundreds and hundreds of bags.”
Clothesline takes the clothing and textiles and re-sells them through Value Village stores in Alberta. Proceeds raised help Diabetes Canada send more than 2,400 children and youth with Type 1 diabetes to the charity’s D-Camps, summer and family camps offered across Canada, including Camp Kakhamela in Gibson’s, B.C., where kids meet and are inspired buy each other to manage their diabetes in a medically supervised setting.
Proceeds also go towards research.
In Cranbrook, the Clothesline bins are located at Real Canadian Superstore, the City of Cranbrook recycling station by the Memorial Arena, Home Hardware, the RDEK Transfer Station, and the Cranbrook Bottle Depot.
Items accepted at the Clothesline bins include clothing and textiles, hats, belts, shoes, towels, linens and more.
For more information about Diabetes Canada’s Clothesline program, call Adrian White at 604-202-4472.