The Chicago Tribune ran an article today talking about all of those drop boxes for used clothing. Apparently, while some are for charity, many are also maintained by for-profit businesses.
It went on to talk about the items that are donated. Apparently, “Americans throw 85 percent of their unwanted textiles in the trash each year” thinking that since they aren’t in a condition to re-sell, they aren’t worth anything. Not true. There are other markets, including recycling for industrial use. According to a rep from the Salvation Army:
“We want to receive any and all articles because, if we can’t sell it in one of our stores, then we can sell it to what they call the ‘rag market,'” Anderson said. “They can repurpose those textiles for anything from wiping rags or materials for new textiles to even as an additive to asphalt. (That revenue) is a big deal for us.”
Back to the drop boxes. I don’t have a problem with a company making a product and a profit by recycling my stuff – assuming they are honest about it. But if you want to be sure that your donations are supporting your causes, please do your homework. Call the numbers listed on the drop boxes; contact the organizations you are trying to help