Fri August 29, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Chicago, Illinois [August 29, 2014] – West Chicago-based textile recycler USAgain applauded Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for signing legislation this week designed to increase transparency and accountability among collection bin operators throughout the state.
SB 3294 calls for the clear labeling of collection bins, which the public uses to deposit unwanted clothes, shoes, books and other items for reuse and recycling.
“It’s important to create rules for all bin operators to follow and maintain community standards while giving residents a convenient method for getting rid of old and unwanted items in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Mattias Wallander CEO of USAgain. “We thank Governor Quinn for signing this legislation that holds bin operators accountable by establishing new guidelines.”
The law, approved overwhelmingly in both the Illinois House and Senate earlier this year, will take effect on Jan. 1. It was sponsored by State Sen. Karen McConaughay of South Elgin and State Representative Emanuel Chris Welch of Westchester.
To help meet the public’s demand for accessible recycling options, USAgain, a for-profit company, maintains 1,133 recycling bins in Illinois, providing consumers with a convenient, no-cost option to dispose of unwanted clothing and shoes.
According to the legislation, all bins in Illinois must clearly display the name, address and telephone number of the owner. The entity must also state if it is a “for profit” or “not-for-profit” organization. USAgain already abides by both of the new requirements, which are included in the Code of Conduct of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), the national trade association of the clothing recycling industry.
Along with the clear labeling requirements, the legislation also creates a section of the Illinois Unfair Business Practices Act whereby violations can be enforced at the local, county or state level. That means local state’s attorneys can prosecute “bad actor” operators across multiple municipal boundaries, eliminating the need for each-and-every community to enforce the law.
“SMART is very pleased that the representatives of the people of Illinois have enacted this legislation,” says Jackie King, executive Director of SMART. “We encourage other states to follow Illinois’ lead and to enact similar legislation. This law not only encourages the public to recycle used clothing, it also requires transparency of the business practices of the bin operator so members of the public are informed users when placing their goods in a collection bin.”
With Americans throwing out 85 percent of their clothing in the trash, amounting to 11 million tons a year, clothing bins play an important role in keeping unwanted textiles out of landfills. USAgain, which was awarded an “A+” rating by Better Business Bureau, takes additional steps to ensure it protects and upholds community standards. These include making sure property owners give written consent before bins are placed and employing full-time staff – not sub-contractors – to service bins. In addition, each bin promotes a 24/7 consumer phone line and website to report service needs.
USAgain - a leader in the textile recycling industry since 1999, USAgain is a for-profit company that recycles and reuses clothing, shoes and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. USAgain maintains more than 14,000 collection bins in 19 states. For more information, visitwww.usagain.com.