About the Curbside Textile Recycling Program

The City of Somerville is offering a curbside textile recycling program to residential dwellings that receive curbside recycling and trash from the City (typically buildings with six or fewer units). This program is in addition to available drop boxes for clothing and shoes around the City.

Program Begins Summer 2018 (Check Back for Details)

Pink Simple Recycling bags

How will this program work?

Simple Recycling will send 2 pink bags by mail to all eligible residential units. Residents can fill them in with clothing, shoes, and accessories and keep these bags on the curb on trash day. A small truck by Simple Recycling will pick them up every week, on the same schedule as weekly trash/recycling pick-up.

Is there a limit on the number of bags people can get? How much do they cost?

The bags are free. Residents will receive two bags to start with. Every time a bag is picked up, an additional empty bag is left at the residence for future use.

How can I order more bags?

You can always request more bags by calling (866) 835-5068, by filling out this form, or by emailing [email protected].

Who drops off the bags if a resident didn’t get any?

Simple Recycling will make arrangements to drop off the bag via post/courier or their recycling truck operators. 

How much will this program cost the City?

This program will have no cost to the City or residents. 

Simple Recycling Logo

Who is the contractor?

A company called Simple Recycling has been contracted for this program.

Why is the City working with this specific Company?

The City of Somerville issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) requesting curbside textile recycling services. Based on the responses received, qualification of the company, interview, and references, this contract was awarded to Simple Recycling. 

Who do they sell/donate the clothes to?

Simple Recycling works with several thrift stores to resell up to 20% of the collected material. About 80% of the material is not sellable in the US. Therefore, it gets sorted out at the Simple Recycling facility. Whatever can be used in the international market gets delivered the relevant international market. Rest of the material is used as a raw material.

On a broad scale, 40% material is reused or repurposed as secondhand clothing, 30% is reused as rags and/or industrial material such as absorbents, and 30% is recycled into home insulation, carpet padding, and raw material for automotive industry.

Does the City get any portion of the sales for any programs of our own?

Contractually, City will receive $20/ton collection from Simple Recycling under this program.