Thu October 6, 2011

Patch - Chicago Heights

District 170 Turns Used Clothes into Useful Revenue

Chicago Heights District 170 partners up with USAgain to collect textiles and shoes

Article by Danielle Neveles – October 6, 2011

Ever had to throw out old clothes and shoes but weren't sure where to take them?

Chicago Heights District 170 has the answer.

The district will now have bins at all nine of its schools designated strictly for recycling textiles and shoes courtesy of USAgain.

Patch initially announced Greenbriar School's participation in the program.

USAgain is a for-profit company, which redistributes clothing to places in need, helping boost local and global economy and helping to reduce waste in landfills.

What can't be sold will be repackaged into other necessities such as installation and carpets. USAgain partners with businesses, churches, and schools across the country to collect clothes.

Since this summer, Asst. Supt. Mary Kay Entsminger has been working with a USAgain representative to bring USAgain to District 170, stating she feels this can benefit the district.

"We get to minimize the amount of waste that goes into our landfills and our students now take on ownership of making this world a better place," Entsminger explained, adding that the district needed to take action. "We have to do what we can so that children have a clean environment."

USAgain representative Mary Ann Flannery initially contacted Entsminger about bringing USAgain to the district.

USAgain would drop off the bins at each of the schools, according to Flannery. They would then check the bins at least once a week - or more if necessary - to empty the contents and clean the area.

Each week, USAgain will weigh the bins and will pay the district quarterly based on how much the district has collected. The district doesn't have to pay any fees or maintain the bins, Flannery added.

Like Entsminger, Flannery also hopes this will make a difference on the environment.

"My goal always is to spread the awareness of the environment and the landfills and what goes into them," said Flannery. "My other goal is for schools to earn as much extra revenue because they need it."

At the Oct. board meeting, Asst. Supt. Entsminger received the approval of the board to launch the partnership with USAgain.

Entsminger signed up three weeks ago and the bins are now all in place at each of the nine schools. She hopes that the community will also get involved to create a joint effort.

"If it goes well, it will become a permanent part of the district," said Entsminger.