Recycling Made Easy

Bags like these can be picked up at City Hall

Mis-matched socks, dirty stuffed animals, curtains from the ‘80’s, things you wouldn’t donate but don’t want to throw away....when it comes to recycling, everyone thinks of paper, bottles and plastics but clothing, shoes and household goods like these are also highly recyclable. As the winter months and cold weather return, we start to shift our focus inside our homes to housework and seasonal wardrobe changes and that’s where the city’s Simple Recycling program comes in to help clear the halls so you can deck them.

Through the Simple Recycling program, curbside recycling of clothing, shoes, and reusable household goods is available for Parma Heights residents at no charge and without registration. The program itself is as easy as its name implies: residents put out bagged and tagged items on the curb on their regular recycling collection day.  Simple Recycling initially distributed bags and tags to all residences and replaces them as they are used. Additional bags/tags can be ordered by visiting city hall, going on or by calling 1.866.835.5068. 

In June of 2015, Parma Heights joined 27 other municipalities in Northeast Ohio in this curbside recycling effort to keep these goods out of landfills.  As a result, to date the city has diverted over 60,000 pounds of clothing, shoes, and reusable household goods! 

As part of the growing list of the city’s cost-saving green initiatives, Parma Heights partnered with Simple Recycling to provide maximum simplicity and convenience to residents to encourage participation in this often-overlooked recycling opportunity. Bill Wilke of Simple Recycling told me that, “Clothing is 100 percent recyclable, but 85 percent still ends up in landfills.” According to the EPA, the average person throws away 68 pounds of clothing, shoes, and household good per year which accounts for up to 15 percent of the residential waste stream. Simple Recycling encourages residents to recycle these reusable items, giving them a second life, keeping them out of landfills, and thereby saving our city money. 

Simple Recycling offers the ability to recycle unwanted household textile items that are too heavily worn to donate to charitable organizations like the Salvation Army, Special Olympics, veterans’ organizations, etc. Parma Heights Recycling Coordinator Michelle Teresi and I urge our residents to continue donating gently-used items to these charitable organizations. However, although this is not a mandatory program, we hope our residents will consider this curbside opportunity to recycle clothing and textiles that they wouldn’t otherwise consider donating. The Simple Recycling program is a convenient, new way to reduce the amount of garbage residents are throwing out while eliminating things that are no longer need like stained/ripped clothing or socks/shoes that will never have a match! Other items that can be recycled through the program include clothing, bedding, curtains, pillows, linens, stuffed animals, toys and towels.

What will Simple Recycling do with these items? The answer is simple: when household textiles have reached the end of their useful life, they can be sorted for international export or broken down for raw materials. Many textiles are turned into wiping cloths used in a variety of industries or businesses and others are processed back into fibers and turned into paper, yarn, insulation, carpet padding and other items.

Please consider participating in this easy way to recycle and help keep things out of our landfills that don’t really belong there!

Erin Lally

Parma Heights Mayor Michael P. Byrne

Read More on Parma Heights
Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:54 AM, 11.03.2016