What happens to the clothes you donate? Greenburgh town supervisor explains

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has proposed a new law that would mandate the donation boxes have signs indicating what happens to the clothing.

Emily Young

Apr 15, 2024, 9:23 PM

Updated 34 days ago

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What do you think happens to the clothes you donate?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 2.5 million tons of clothing gets recycled in the U.S. each year.
But how much of this clothing is actually going to the needy? Turns out not as much as you think.
News 12 asked some people donating clothes to a bin outside Greenburgh Town hall where they think its going.
"I want it to go to people that really need it, I don't want it to be taken and sold," said Greenburgh resident Martina.
"I'm hoping they go to children that need it, and families that need clothing," said another resident named Denise.
These boxes are from a for-profit organization called USAgain. According to its website, 60% of the clothing is resold to wholesalers and thrift shops. The rest gets shredded and made into new products- like rags- also for a profit.
None of this it is going to clothe the needy.
That's why Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has proposed a new law that would mandate the donation boxes have signs indicating what happens to the clothing.
"So, if there's a for profit bin and they're shredding it, they should indicate on the bin, that the clothes may be shredded," Feiner said. "If they are selling it to thrift shops around the world, they should disclose that.
It does say that the company is "for profit" but it isn't very noticeable.
Feiner says there is nothing wrong with selling the clothes for profit, as long as people know about that.
Resident Tom Lyons agreed.
"As long as people know where it's going. If it's just being fine printed where someone makes a profit on it, that I don't agree with. But as long as they will let it be known where its going, its your choice," said Lyons.
The town board is expected to vote on the matter next week.


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