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SMART Member Conference to Focus on Increasing Awareness of Textile Recycling

Bel Air, Maryland (February 24, 2012) – Increasing the awareness of the benefits of clothing and textile recycling will be a main point of focus when more than 100 attendees representing 68 member companies of  the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) gather in San Diego, California.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that  each year more than 21 billion pounds of recyclable clothing and textiles are dumped into the nation’s landfills.

“More than 95% of all clothing and textiles can be recycled; the only requirement is the material is clean and dry, even if it is stained or torn, there is still a use for them in the world of textile recycling.” says Larry Groipen, President of SMART.

According to Groipen, the infrastructure is already in place for many of our nation’s municipalities to add clothing and textiles to their existing recycling programs. “Increasing the amount of clothing being recycled is a win-win for charities and municipalities,” says Groipen. “People already know they can donate clothing to charities and by getting municipalities and charities working in partnership, the amount of clothing being recycled will skyrocket.”

The State of Massachusetts has already recognized the impact increased clothing and textile recycling can have on municipal waste programs. The State’s Department of Environmental Protection is in the midst of hosting a series of four regional meetings focusing on the implementation of textile recycling.

“There is a lot of exciting activity within the clothing and textile recycling industry,” says Jackie King, SMART’s Executive Director. “The conference is our chance to share that news and to learn from our members what’s happening in their own communities.”

The SMART convention will be held Sunday, February 26th through Wednesday February 29th at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA. For more information on the convention, visit the association’s website at: www.SMARTasn.org.

About

Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) is an international nonprofit trade association that strengthens the economic opportunities of its diverse membership by promoting the interdependence of our industry segments and providing a common forum for networking, education and trade. Since 1932, SMART has been at the forefront of recycling. SMART members use and convert recycled and secondary materials from used clothing, commercial laundries and non-woven, off spec material, new mill ends and paper from around the world. SMART member companies create thousands of jobs worldwide. SMART members prove each day that you can make money by being socially responsible.

For additional information on SMART, visit the association’s website at www.SMARTasn.org.  The following link will take you directly to informational videos on textile recycling http://www.smartasn.org/about/videos.cfm

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