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Rags to Riches: Recycle Textiles to Keep Them Out of the Trash

Submitted by Teresa Resnick, Haddam Sustainability Committee

(March 13, 2023) — Have you ever wondered what those large white bins are used for at the Haddam Transfer Station? Or the ones in front of the Annex Building on Jail Hill Road? They are textile collection bins, and they are a great way to:

  • Earn money for our town
  • Keep textiles out of our garbage stream
  • Provide a service to get rid of textiles in an environmentally-friendly way


95% of all textiles can be recycled or reused, but the key is keeping them out of the trash. The town pays close to $100 per ton to get rid of our garbage, but it collects $100 for one ton of textiles, which you can drop off at the Transfer Station. They are picked up each week by a company called Bay State Textiles.

All items must be clean, dry, and placed in bags; and even if clothes are stained, ripped or missing buttons and zippers, they are still accepted. Items accepted include footwear, clothing, accessories, linens, small rugs, even stuffed animals, in any condition. One third of the items are made into rags, one third are made into insulation/stuffing and the other third can sometimes be re-used. You don’t even have to provide a complete pair of socks or shoes. One will do. A complete list of items accepted is available at or on the town website under Transfer Station. Scroll down to Textile Recycling Details.

Please make a conscious effort to use the garbage section at the Transfer Station only for garbage. We, of course, have recycling there for glass, aluminum, paper and cardboard, as well as electronics collection, textiles and our food-scrap-to- compost program. All we need is you. Let’s be an example of a town that cares deeply about our planet. It has to start somewhere. The best place to start is in our own homes.

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