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Algonquin Township recycling partnership pays dividends for residents, environment | TribLocal

Tue June 12, 2012

trib local

Algonquin Township recycling partnership pays dividends for residents, environment

Decade-old USAgain program with township diverts 4 million pounds of textiles from landfills.

The Algonquin Township Road District and west suburban-based textile recycling company USAgain celebrated a decade-long partnership that has benefited the environment and resulted in more than 4 million pounds of clothing getting recycled.

"Algonquin Township is committed to encouraging township residents to recycle by not only raising awareness but by making it easy and convenient for them," said Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Robert Miller. "Together, we have kept millions of pounds of clothes, shoes and textiles out of landfills."

The partnership between USAgain and the Algonquin Township Road District began with Miller's idea to launch a small-scale program aimed at recycling paper and cardboard. Since then, the township project has grown into a comprehensive recycling operation that processes Christmas trees, paint, books, motor oil, electronics, tree branches, cardboard, eyeglasses, hearing aids, clothes and shoes.

The partnership was the first agreement that USAgain established with a government agency. Since then, USAgain has partnered with dozens of jurisdictions throughout the country. "Algonquin Township has served as a trailblazer for local governments making a difference in the sustainability movement," said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. "As a result, local residents have protected the environment by diverting more than 4 million pounds of clothing from the trash and have saved significant tax dollars by generating less solid waste to transport and dump into landfills."

To date, the Road District's partnership with USAgain has resulted in the collection of 4 million pounds of recyclable clothing and shoes, or 914 garbage trucks full of textiles. That has saved 22,857 cubic yards in landfills and reduced C02 gas by 28 million pounds.

Awareness about clothing recycling is growing, Wallander said, but even still only about 15 percent of textiles are re-used nationwide with the remaining 11.1 million tons going into landfills annually.

USAgain maintains eight collection bins for the district, which are located at the recycling center at3702 U.S. Highway Route 14 in Crystal Lake. USAgain services the bins daily, maintaining them to the highest standards, employing full-time staff - not sub-contractors. USAgain uses advanced routing technology that allows monitoring of collections from each site and reduces the chance of overflows.

Algonquin Township June 2012

About USAgain
USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, with corporate headquarters in West Chicago, is a green for-profit company that recycles and resells reusable clothing and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which are then diverted from landfills, and resold to markets in need of affordable clothing. USAgain has partnered with more than 1,000 organizations - including schools, churches, food banks, hospitals, fire stations, humane societies and youth groups - as part of its charitable giving program. For more information, visit www.usagain.com.