One Lonely Sock: Textile Diversion Program

Do you have a ripped t-shirt, or a lonely sock? What do you do with it?

By all means, when we have clothes we no longer wear and want to make room in the closet, we pass them down to someone or donate them to a local organization for resale. But what do you do when you have an article of clothing, or a blanket or slipper that just won’t make the cut? You donate it to the Textile Diversion Program.

Markham, Ontario is the first municipality in Canada to ban textiles from the landfill. They did it by implementing a Textile Diversion Program that is catching on across Canada. The City of Brandon will be participating in a national pilot study spearheaded by Diabetes Canada and York University. Across Canada, there are a total of 160 municipalities participating. The study will look at the behavior of textile donation, opportunities, education and life cycle analysis (how many litres of water are saved, ghg reduced and the amount diverted).

The environmental impact is the greatest impact we can make when we repurpose, reuse or recycle. Did you know that it takes 700 gallons of water to make one cotton t-shirt and 1800 gallons of water to make a pair of blue jeans? On top of saving the environment, new products are popping up in the market every year, being made of recycled textiles. From running shoes and jackets, to home insulation and tiles. Donations that don’t make the cut, can be re-used for rags as well.

The average Canadian throws away 36kgs of textiles every single year. In Brandon alone, we have 4 charitable organizations where we can donate our textiles. Even so, an estimated 85% of textiles still end up in the Brandon landfill. That’s an estimation of 1,764,000 kg of textiles going into the Brandon landfill each year.

So, what can we do about this? Keep a recycling bin in your home for just textiles. When it fills up, empty it at one of the 4 bins around the city. You can find the bins at Kin Park, East End Community Centre, Rideau Park and the Keystone Centre.

Or, donate your reusable textiles to one of the charitable organizations in Brandon or in your community.

Brandon MCC Thrift Shop located at 414 Pacific Avenue. Proceeds support the local and global relief, development and peace projects of the Mennonite Central Committee.

Nearly New Shop at 601 9th Street. Proceeds fund the purchase of patient care equipment at the Brandon Regional Health Centre.

Adult & Teen Challenge Super Thrift Brandon located at 127 7th Street. Proceeds support the Teen Challenge Brandon Women’s Centre.

Diabetes Canada, that has 15 bins located around Brandon or you can contact them to schedule a pickup by going to Declutter. The proceeds support diabetes research, children attending D-camps and advocacy programs for people living with diabetes or prediabetes.

Recycling textiles here in Brandon will be just one more way we can help our environment and the City of Brandon is making it easier for us to do this, starting this fall.

Find a drop off bin in many Brandon Locations.