It’s difficult to discuss USAgain’s 2012 recycling successes without mentioning the sheer volume of clothes, shoes and other textiles the company was able to divert from landfills around the country via the nearly 10,000 collection bins it operates in 17 states. Nearly 58 million pounds of textiles were collected, preventing the emission of 406 million pounds of CO2, rescuing 81.2 billion gallons of water and saving 332,000 cubic yards of precious landfill space.
Important and impactful business, corporate and municipal partnerships were formed with USAgain, offering local residents an eco-friendly option to rid their closets of reusable but unwanted clothes and shoes. A highlight of these new partnerships and initiatives, the City of Santa Monica, Calif., held a public recycling drive, letting the community quickly and efficiently recycle electronics, paper and textiles in a special one-day event.
USAgain school fundraiser participation was at an all-time high with 520 schools participating in 2012’s Earth Month (April) and America Recycles Day (November) contests – friendly competitions among schools to see which can collect more clothes and shoes with the USAgain drop box made available on its property. In addition to raising funds per pound of textiles collected at each participating school, cash prizes were awarded to the top three collecting schools in each contest. Edwin Markham School (Vacaville, CA) collected over 4,500 pounds of textiles, winning first place in November’s America Recycles Day contest.
2012 was also a year for USAgain to give back to the communities we serve. Chicago-area high school girls were given the opportunity to take home a free homecoming dress in August during USAgain’s Homecoming Goes Green event. Hundreds of new and gently used dresses were put on display, free for the taking, all in an attempt to reduce waste and promote environmental awareness in our high schools. A hugely successful event, USAgain hopes to expand the dress giveaway event into other divisions during 2013’s prom season. As part of a national initiative involving USAgain’s Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle divisions, hundreds of pounds of winter coats were donated to Boys & Girls Clubs around the country where kids and their families were able to take some home in preparation for a cold winter.
One of our most inspiring partnerships, 12-year-old Erek “EcoErek” Hansen collected over 3,600 pairs of shoes for recycling and reuse through his homegrown efforts in Ohio. In November, Erek visited USAgain’s Chicago division where he was interviewed on WGN radio, ABC 7 TV and was presented by USAgain with a donation to the charity of his choice in honor of his awesome recycling efforts.
While 2012 was an exceptional year for textile recycling and environmental awareness, we look forward to making 2013 even greater.
Read more about USAgain’s 2012 media coverage: