Alberta non-profits urge textile re-purposing over landfill

Two Alberta non-profits are partnering this week to get people talking about recycling clothing and textiles, rather than sending them to the landfills.

Goodwill helped divert 12-million kilograms of textile waste last year

Alberta non-profits push to divert textiles from landfills 0:34

Two Alberta non-profits are partnering this week to get people talking about recycling clothing and textiles, rather than sending them to the landfills.

"Last year alone they diverted over 12 million kilograms of textile waste into various products like cleaning clothes and different products that are broken down and repurposed rather than going into our landfills," Mason Austin of the Recycling Council of Alberta told CBC News of its partnership with Goodwill Industries of Alberta.

Mason Austin of the Recycling Council of Alberta says more can be done to divert clothing and textiles from landfills. (Julie Debeljak/CBC)

The non-profits set up shop on Stephen Avenue Mall — for what they called Textile Tuesday as part of the national initiative Waste Reduction Week — to hand out cleaning cloths made from old clothes.

"We talk about a circular economy and trying to create a closed loop, so rather than going to landfill they create another use out of these textiles," Austin said.

Dalia Thamin of Goodwill says donations create jobs for a group of people who are often underemployed. (Julie Debeljak/CBC)

Dalia Thamin of Goodwill says it's an initiative that has the added benefit of helping with employment and training.

"Your donations create jobs for Albertans with disabilities," Thamin said.

"Less than 50 per cent of Albertans and Canadians with disabilities actually have jobs. That's why donating is important."

Goodwill creates cleaning cloths, right, from donated, used clothing. It's about keeping clothing and textiles out of the landfill. (Julie Debeljak/CBC)

With files from Julie Debeljak