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Recycling Indus try Yearbook

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.


Textile recycling is a dynamic

sector of the recycling

industry that processes

billions of pounds of

cotton, wool, synthetic, and

synthetic-blend products

each year. These scrap

materials come from a

number of sources, ranging

from apparel and home

furnishing manufacturers, to textile mills and consumers.

In recent years, 2 million tons of clothing and textiles have

been recovered from individuals (post-consumer) and

manufacturers (pre-consumer) in the United States each year

that are recycled as new raw materials for the automotive,

furniture, mattress, coarse yarn, home furnishings, paper, and

other industries. This translates to about 12 lbs. of textiles

per person in the Unites States. Demand for used textiles

and clothing is growing rapidly overseas as well. According to

figures from the Census Bureau, the value of U.S. exports of

used textiles and clothing increased from $325 million in 2006

to nearly $613 million in 2016.

Used clothing collected from households is graded into

a number of categories. Garments in good condition are

exported for resale in parts of the world where new clothing is

not affordable for many. This trade provides employment not

only among the

exporting nations,

but also within

the importing