A new partnership between the City of Timmins and Talize Inc. aims to benefit everyone by diverting textiles that end up in the landfill and contributing to the Children’s Wish Foundation, at zero cost to and with no labour involvement from the City and its taxpayers.

This new pilot program (or experimental trial) will include a curbside collection service beginning Monday, September 9 for all those with curbside waste collection. Items collected will include used clothing, footwear and linens, as well as damaged or ripped textiles. In the next couple of weeks, residents with curbside collection will receive a clear plastic bag and a flyer directly from Talize Inc. with further instructions and links to helpful information. Any other clear bag will also be acceptable in this collection.

“Moving forward, we would like to expand the program with bin throughout the City and Talize will also be reaching out to private properties for bins. Once some data is collected there will be many opportunities for growth within this program,” explained City of Timmins Environmental Coordinator Christina Beaton. “One of the areas we are highlighting with this partnership is that ripped textiles and those no longer viable for resale will not be landfilled but rather sent to a textile recycling facility.”

During the city’s 2017-2018 curbside collection audit, just over three per cent of textile material was found in either the recycling or waste carts in curbside collection alone. This equates to over 200 tonnes of material that could have potentially been diverted from the annual waste stream and landfill.

“In order to reduce waste sent to landfill, the city is continuously looking to expand all diversion programs,” said Mayor George Pirie. “This partnership is wonderful for everyone involved, directly and indirectly. Not only is it great for our community, it is great for our planet.”

The City of Timmins continues to encourage the use of the Timmins Recyclepedia app which allows residents to sign up for pick up reminders. The app also notifies residents when there is a delay or change in the curbside collection schedule and offers helpful tips on how to responsibly dispose of waste. Textile program notifications are also integrated into the app, as textile collection dates will differ from regular curbside collection to avoid any confusion regarding what is waste and what is textile diversion.

Think global, act local
According to the London Sustainability Exchange “the textile industry is one of the most polluting, unethical and wasteful industries on earth. It’s actually the second most polluting industry after oil…Official figures regarding the amount of clothing produced each year do not exist, but it is estimated that between 80 and 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced each year. That is a lot of hidden waste. The US has, for instance, generated 15 million tonnes of textile waste each year for the past 20 years. There are 320 million inhabitants in the USA; that’s almost 47 pieces of clothing per inhabitant per year. …The UK sent 235 million items of clothing to landfill. This is quite an outrage, especially when we know that almost 100% of clothing items are recyclable.”

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