Three Airdrie teenagers are advocating on the issue of textile recycling in Airdrie.

Alexandra, Olivia and Emma make up a group called Second Threads, and on Monday (May 15), they presented on end-of-life textiles to City Council.

The group conducted two informal surveys at the East Side Recycle Depot on the issue of textile recycling and are now proposing that the City set up bins specifically to collect end-of-life textiles, such as clothes with rips or stains.

"We would like to see that because many people would feel better if there was a separate bin for their used or worn textiles," said Alexandra Claggett.

The group also wants to see more education from the City around textile recycling to ensure residents know what to do with old clothes so they don't end up in the landfill.

Currently, Airdrie has a number of clothing collection bins around the city, including four at the Recycling Depot, they collect both reusable and end-of-life textiles. The bins are operated by groups like Clothing for a Cause, the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta.

One reason Second Threads feels a separate bin for end-of-life textiles is necessary is that if there is more education around textile recycling, the amount of end-of-life textiles making their way into the bins will increase. Second Threads contacted the current bin providers and were told that while the bins do accept end-of-life textiles, they require 75 per cent of the clothes that are collected to be reusable.

One significant challenge is that Second Threads were unaware of any group that disposes of end-of-life textiles in the area.

Tracy Pagenhardt with Airdrie Waste and Recycling, after a question from Councillor Candice Kolson, said that one thing the City can commit to is further education on how to recycle textiles. 


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