San Francisco wants to encourage more clothing donations in an effort to eliminate unneeded waste in its landfills. As part of their mission to entice more residents to donate clothes, the city’s Department of Environment is launching a line of friendlier, networked textile recycling bins. Frog Designs and Goodwill teamed up to develop a new, more inviting textile bin that will hopefully find their way in or around every large apartment building in San Francisco.
For the new textile bins, Frog threw out the old dumpster and security locker look for a simple wooden crate. Up top, the lid opens with an easy “smile-like” lip. On the side, donors will also find a QR code to easily access an online tax donation form. Meanwhile, each bin is equipped with interior sensors that signal Goodwill trucks when it’s time for a pickup, so they never overflow with clothes.
According to Fast CoExist, 39 million pounds of textiles end up in San Francisco landfills. It’s tricky to recycle clothes since textiles are made up of so many different materials. I:CO, a company that specializes in sorting through old textiles, said it uses 400 different criteria to sort through the waste alone.
With the new bins in place the city hopes to catch all the linens that normally slip through the cracks like socks and shower curtains. After collecting the donations, the city will go through the clothes, some of which will be sent to the resale market, recycled into textile products, or broken back down into fibers for products like insulation. Frog and Goodwill have also partnered with retailers like Levis and H&M not only to put bins in their stores, but also to help market recycling to customers.