Each year 1.4 billion pounds a year of textiles—with a potential market value exceeding $200 million—are annually discarded as garbage in New York state. Nationally, an estimated 5.2% of all municipal solid waste in the United States consists of textiles.

First steps in a statewide effort to address these concerns were discussed at the NYSAR3-sponsored Textile Recovery Campaign’s Statewide Stakeholder Summit on April 10. The Summit was facilitated by Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Community Solutions at SyracuseCoE. Dialogue focused on the obstacles and challenges associated with textile recovery faced by the recycling industry, as well as outreach strategies to acheive project goals.

The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Reycling (NYSAR3) is collaborating with the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), and the Council for Textile Recycling (CTR), to develop a public education campaign aimed at changing these statistics. NYSAR3 and its partners plan to roll out the program on America Recycles Day on November 15, 2014.