Croaked Clothes? Torn Textiles? Hobbled Housewares?

This article appears in the April 2019 edition of the Front Porch Flyer. It has been expanded here to address apartments, condos, and specific donation types.

Approximately 6.6 million pounds of textiles are going to the landfill each year from ARR’s curbside customers. That’s 18,000 pounds of clothes going in the trash every day rather than being reused or recycled!

Did you know that the City of Austin recycles clothing, textiles and small housewares? Clothing/Textile Recycling includes clothing, shoes, stuffed animals, bedding, and small housewares. The current contractor is Simple Recycling and they provide the green bags you put out with your blue carts.

Apartment and condo dwellers may also use the Simple Recycling green bags. You’ll just need to drop them off at the Austin Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center instead of having them picked up curbside. Or if you have a residential friend, ask to have your bag(s) put out with theirs. Green bags are available at the Center.

The current contract with Simple Recycling expires at the end of June 23, 2019. Starting July, 2019 and until further notice please recycle these items with Goodwill, or at another entity who you know recycles what they can’t sell.

Recycling in this instance means more that donating usable items. It means taking cloth out of the landfill and recycling it into things such as insulation, industrial cleaning cloths, etc. Cloth you may not realize you are throwing away may have another life beyond rags. Did you know you can also recycle:

  • Socks: holes, torn elastic, missing their partners, etc.
  • Underwear: popped elastic, undone seams, stains, torn, etc.
  • Bras: stretched out, undone seams, bad wires, straps, etc.
  • Clothes that really no one would want to wear, are stained, torn, etc.
  • Stuffed animals that can’t be repaired or washed, missing eyes, arms, tails, etc.
  • Old bedding: pillows, comforters, blankets that aren’t repairable or washable
  • Shoes that cannot be repaired by Shoe Hospital or some other entity
  • Scraps of fabric that would be too small with which to craft

The City of Austin requests that you support local businesses with donations first before placing items in the curbside collection bags. Mueller has two neighbors that accept clothing and housewares donations:

  1. Hope Family Thrift Store on 51st Street (they’ll also pick up large furniture) This group supports Austin Disaster Relief Network.
  2. Ronald McDonald House on Barbara Jordan Blvd (clothing only)

Fabric that is usable, along with other craft, office and school supplies may be taken to Austin Creative Reuse at 6369 Middle Fiskville Rd. #1801, in The Linc shopping center by HIghland Mall.

Kids Clothes
There are many wonderful local charities in your area that accept kids clothes. If you are interested in consignment, Austin and Round Rock has Once Upon a Child.

Business Wear (Ladies)
Clothes, jewelry, bags, accessories, portfolios, briefcases are accepted, but there are instructions for donations.
Dress for Success
UT Outpost Career Closet

Business Wear (Men)
Clothes, portfolios, briefcases are accepted, but there are instructions for donations.
UT Outpost Career Closet

Prom/Formal Wear
Proms are coming up in Austin! Two local groups to donate your prom, semi-formal or formal attire to are (in alphabetical order):
Project Princess
Prom Rack

Medical Scrubs
UT Outpost Career Closet

Athletic Shoes
Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe which recycles unwearable athletics shoes only. Other shoes not recycled with Simple Recycling will be recycled at Goodwill.
Asics accepts any clean dry clothing or shoes in any amount by any brand may be dropped off for recycling in exchange for a reward coupon.

Coats and Jackets
Coats for Kids
Collection starts in November. Sometimes local Coats for Kids also accept hats and gloves so if you knit this may be a project for you or your knitting group.

– Any clean dry clothing or shoes in any amount by any brand may be dropped off for recycling in exchange for a reward coupon. Locations and more information is HERE. Fort Worth and Round Rock, Texas are participating Central Texas locations.

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