By Wendy Gabriel on November 14, 2012

More than 500 schools across the U.S. are participating in a clothing, shoe and textile drive throughout November to raise recycling awareness.

Since 1997, people across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. This is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling — a day to educate and motivate our neighbors, friends and community leaders about what can be achieved when we all work together.

On November 1, USAgain kicked off its annual America Recycles Day contest to benefit local schools. USAgain, a Chicago-based company, collects reusable clothing, shoes and other textiles and then recycles and resells them. As a result, millions of pounds of textiles are diverted from landfills each year. In 2011 alone, the company collected 60 million pounds of discarded clothing.

More than 500 schools across the country signed up for the contest. The objective for each school is to collect as many pounds of clothing, shoes and textiles as possible over the course of November while raising money and increasing textile-recycling awareness in their community.

Anyone in the community can support his or her local school by dropping off reusable clothing, shoes and other textiles in USAgain’s green and white drop boxes.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that more than 11 million tons of textiles are thrown into landfills in the U.S. every year. The goal of the America Recycles Day contest is to reduce that number by gathering textiles that can be reused and kept out of the waste stream.

“The America Recycles Day contest complements our mission of spreading the word and education about the need for reusing and recycling textiles,” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “Eighty-five percent of clothes and shoes are landfilled each year and only 15% are being collected for reuse and recycling. The contest is a great way to get students, their families and community members start thinking about textile reuse and recycling just we think about glass, paper, plastic and aluminum recycling.”

For more information, or to find a local drop box, please visit usagain.com/america-recycles-day.

Stay tuned to 1-800-RECYCLING on Twitter and Facebook for much more on America Recycles Day events.

America Recycles Day 2012

About the author

Wendy Gabriel is a freelance eco-writer based in Fargo, ND. She is the founder of MyGreenSide.org and tweets at @MyGreenSide. Wendy is a wife to an amazing man and a mother of two awesome little girls. Everything she does is seen through this lens. Her passion for sustainability is a gift from her parents, who were green long before it was "cool to be green." You can hear Wendy each Tuesday when she brings Simple Tips for Green Living to "The Christopher Gabriel Program." Stream the segment at approximately 12:20 p.m. (CST) at WDAY.com.
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