Can You Throw Clothes in the Trash?
It is not good practice to toss clothing items into the trash, unless they have been ruined beyond repair. Clothes are usually made of organic materials like cotton, natural blends and silk, which break down slowly in landfills, and thereby contribute to pollution.
Best Practices for Disposing of Clothes
Throw clothes away thoughtfully:
- Repair and reuse: Torn clothing may still be usable, so mending holes, tears and stains can breathe new life into old clothes.
- Donate: Contact local nonprofits and homeless shelters to donate clothes in good condition to those in need.
- Recycle: In some towns and cities, it may be possible to drop off used clothes at a recycling center.
- Upcycle: Repurposing old clothes can make fascinating fashion statements or home décor accents.
Clothes with Unusual Materials
Clothes sometimes feature non-organic materials such as plastics, rubber and foam, which are harder to recycle or compost. These pieces often contain shoulder pads, mascara brushes, oil-based glues and synthetic blends. Such items should be disposed of responsibly, following the guidelines of local waste management centers.
At the end of their lifespan, clothes must be disposed of mindfully so that landfills don’t suffer the consequences. Taking the extra effort to do the right thing for the environment is essential for protecting the planet.