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MO-TAC helps state's recycling efforts
Like most textile and apparel manufacturers, Angelica Image Apparel, Inc. in Mountain View was accustomed to paying high landfill fees to haul and bury its textile waste. A monthly average of about $2,700 wasn't unusual.
By utilizing a textile recycling service more than half of that money could go back into the business each month. What's more, the company wouldn't be clogging the state's landfills.
With a boost from extensions Missouri Textile and Apparel Center (MO-TAC), state efforts to recycle waste from the industry are growing. And why not?
Companies that recycle even part of the textile waste they generate will save money while benefitting the environment. Those companies pay textile scrap collection and recycling companies less to haul their waste than they would pay to haul and bury it in landfills. These recycling companies can afford the lower price tag usually about half of the landfill fees because they'll generate even more income from the textile waste by turning it into any number of products "It's a worthwhile effort on all fronts," says Susan Henson, MO-TAC director.
In cooperation with the University Extension System, MO-TAC received funding from the Environmental Improvement Energy Resources Authority (EIERA) which allowed them to conduct a research project and create a marketing brochure and thorough information packet.
MO-TAC conducted a research project to assess companies' attitudes toward recycling, which found that small companies were drawn to recycling because of the community benefits, while larger companies were more interested in the bottom line.
The project also showed that most of the state's smaller firms, those with 50 employees or less, don't think they generate enough waste to justify a textile recycling program at their facilities.
"Nothing is farther from the truth," says Henson.
To introduce companies to the benefits of textile recycling, Henson also created a brochure and follow up information packet that targets both big and small companies.
When textile companies contract with recycling companies, the effort required to sort and size scraps is minimal compared to the cost savings, she says.
Not only that, big and small companies feel good knowing their scraps could be turned into a variety of products, including;
Carpet pads - A processing plant shreds and blends the scraps and turns them into carpet pads or the backs of the pads in cars.
MO-TAC helped facilitate textile recycling efforts by
working with the EIERA's Market Development Program to
award a grant to a company interested in starting a
textile scrap collection and processing facility. A grant
was awarded to a company in Mountain View to initiate a
collection and recycling business. Several manufacturers
began to utilize the service immediately diverting 70,000
pounds of waste from Missouri landfills each month.
Unfortunately, at this printing this textile collection
company's operations are presently on hold due to
uncertain management and logistical problems. The State
is presently looking into other options to continue
providing textile scrap collection for Missouri
companies. It is hoped that a collection service will
start up again, as there continues to be positive
response from companies that are ready to utilize this
service and recycle their textile scraps.