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Philadelphia residents won’t have to venture far to rid themselves of castoff garments. Homeowners in Northeast Philadelphia, Montgomery County, and Southern Lehigh County will soon be able to haul clothing, shoes, accessories, and home textiles out to the curb for recycling. The service is a part of an agreement between Community Recycling, a textile recycler headquarted in Fairless Hills, and George Leck and Son, a family-owned, Newton-based company with 40 years of experience in the waste-hauling industry. “Involving our residential customers in a convenient and easy solution to textile recycling is important,” says Tina Leck, head of sales and marketing at George Leck and Son. “Our ultimate goal is to offer our clients the complete spectrum of services for all of their waste and recycling needs. Adding textile recycling makes total sense both ecologically and economically.”

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The program could not have come at a better time. Americans dump nearly 85 percent of all discarded textiles—or over 11 million tons—into landfills every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By salvaging these unwanted textiles for resale, repurposing, and recycling, both locally and abroad, the program endeavors to conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gases and water and solid-waste pollution, and save rapidly shrinking landfill space.

Despite the growing green movement, most Americans are unaware that textiles can be recycled.

Despite the growing green movement, most Americans are unaware that textiles can be recycled, according Lisa Pomerantz, vice president of marketing and business development at Community Recycling. “Textile recycling needs to become as familiar to us all and as easy to perform as traditional curbside recycling,” she says. “With the help of leaders in the industry like George Leck and Son, we are able to offer the convenience of at home textile recycling with superior customer service. This is a step in the right direction as we look forward to a textile recycling zero waste tolerance.”

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