Help keep books & clothes out of landfills by donating your unwanted items.
According to the U.S. EPA, in 2012 non-durable goods such as paper and textiles made up 20% of the solid waste generated. Only 15% of the 12 million tons of discarded textiles were kept out of landfills.
The MassDEP reports that 95% of usable textiles (clothing, footwear, belts, hats, handbags, throw rugs, drapes, towels, sheets, and other linens) can be reused.
The Connecticut DEEP reports that textiles make up 4% or 96,500 tons of Connecticut’s waste stream.
By collecting unwanted books, clothing, and other reusable items and finding a new use for them, Big Hearted Books & Clothing keeps over 15 million pounds of materials out of landfills each year.
When books or items are badly damaged and can no longer be repurposed, Big Hearted Books & Clothing recycles them. We work with local paper and plastics recyclers to recycle badly damaged items properly.
What happens to donated books
The majority of books are given a second life and are reused. 93% of the books we collect are sold wholesale, online, or given to groups in need such as prisons, senior centers, kindergartens, and town libraries. Approximately 5% are recycled, and less than 2% are discarded.
Big Hearted Books & Clothing not only shares its love of books but also shares its profits from the sale of books with the hosts of our collection containers. We have paid over $2,000,000 to the local businesses, organizations, and charities that host our bins to date.
What happens to donated textiles
Almost half (45%) of collected textiles are sold and reused as secondhand apparel, 30% of materials are remade into wiping and polishing cloths, and 20% are reprocessed into fiber materials. The remaining 5% is unusable and is discarded.
Local charities, thrift stores, and consignment stores benefit mostly from the usable goods which are either donated or sold domestically. The unusable goods are sent to rag sorters and processing facilities. Damaged clothing/textiles may be repurposed. If an item is badly stained, missing buttons, or torn, it can still be used to make rags or used as fiber for car seats, pillows, stuffed animals, soundproof insulation, and many other purposes.