Textiles collected and ready to be laundered.
Rethinking textile "waste" out of the landfill and into valuable products made American Textile & Supply, Inc. eligible for a $300,000 loan from CalRecycle’s Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) program. Loan funds have helped American Textile to divert an additional 1,000 tons of material annually from California landfills.
"The loan process was relatively easy and the interest rate was favorable. We have benefitted from increased awareness of the textile recycling industry, and the relationships and connections we’ve made through the RMDZ program have resulted in increased referrals," said Lou Buty, president of American Textile. "We used loan funds to buy new machinery, such as bagging presses, label-making printers, laundry- and material-handling equipment, and energy-saving solar panels. And we had more working capital to expand inventories."
American Textile turns postconsumer waste textiles into valuable products with viable markets. The company collects the textiles from local textile graders, thrift stores, commercial laundries, hospitals, hotels, and clothing manufacturers, then markets the used materials for reuse, repurpose, and reprocess. A majority of the textiles are used to manufacture wiping and polishing cloths for industrial and commercial applications.
“We extend the life cycle of postconsumer waste textiles, that were on their way to the landfill, by converting them into wiping rags for cleaning and absorbing elements like oil and grease,” said Buty. “Wiping rags offer a green alternative to other options, like paper products and laundry services. The rags absorb better than paper, reduce the use of virgin materials, and, in a drought-stricken state, save water.”
The RMDZ program encourages California businesses to find innovative ways to use waste materials to make new products and offers financial services to companies located in areas of the state designated by CalRecycle as recycling zones. According to CalRecycle’s California 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization Study, an estimated 886,814 tons of textiles go into California landfills each year.
American Textile Supply, Inc., founded in 1971, and Peerless Materials Company, founded in 1967, joined forces in May 2002 to increase market exposure and complement each other's strengths.
For more information, contact the Contra Costa RMDZ.
You can find more reuse organization profiles on CalRecycle’s website.