Mon January 9, 2012

North Students Help Keep Clothes Out of Landfills

Originally published January 9, 2011 by

Lakeville North students Adam and Cassie Alexander look to keep landfills free of clothing and textiles.

Most people in Lakeville probably recycle pop cans and newspapers, but few likely think about recycling old towels, stained jeans, or torn bed sheets. But Adam and Cassie Alexander think about it. And the siblings, and Lakeville North students, have done something about it.

The siblings have worked to bring USAgain recycling bins to Lakeville North's campus with the blessing of principal Marne Berkvam and other administrators.

But the bins offer more than just the opportunity for folks in the community to keep old textiles out of our landfills. Lakeville North will get a quarterly reward from USAgain from each pound that is collected at the site.

"The more the students, public of Lakeville drop off in the bins, the more funds Lakeville Schools will receive," Jeff Alexander, Adam and Cassie's father said.

USAgain is a for-profit company that collects the unwanted textiles and resells them in the U.S. and abroad. The company says they divert millions of pounds of clothing from landfills while managing to generate new revenue streams for U.S. businesses and non-profits, and fueling local economies.

The clothing and texties may be reworn, reused, or recycled. All told, USAgain says that they collect more than one million pounds of clothing per week, which is then purchased by wholesale buyers, thrift store chains and textile recyclers.

Adam and Cassie, meanwhile, were first introduced to USAgain bins while at a baseball tournament this past summer in Minnetonka. The siblings researched the company and what they did, and brought their idea and plans to Berkvam.

If you're interested in dropping off old clothes or textlies, just bring them to the Lakeville North drop boxes.