Mattresses. Old T-shirts and socks. Footwear. Curtains, sheets and stuffed animals.
All of these items, and more, can be recycled at the Wellesley Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF) giving them a second life and keeping them out of landfills. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) expanded its waste ban, adding textiles and mattresses to a list of items which must be recycled rather than thrown away. The goal of these new rules encourages sustainability – finding new uses for donated materials and keeping them out of landfills and incinerators.
This is a practice the RDF has encouraged for a long time and one that was highlighted yesterday on America Recycles Day, a national event celebrating and promoting the benefits of recycling. Along with the many other materials recycled at Wellesley’s state-of-the art facility, the RDF has increased the number of textile recycling bins and added two more mattress and box springs collection units directly to the left of the textile area. Wellesley residents with a valid RDF permit or proof of residency can drop off these materials at no cost. In Fiscal Year 2022, 33 tons of mattresses and 115 tons of textiles and were diverted from the trash.
“Our focus is always on sustainability and giving used textiles a second life. Items do not have to be in good condition to be recycled. Nearly 100 percent of donated textiles can be reused or converted into something else – a stained t-shirt becomes a cleaning cloth, old denim is recycled as household insulation, a well-loved stuffed animal can become car seat stuffing,” said RDF Superintendent Jamie Manzolini. Used clothing donations benefit the secondhand clothing market run by many local nonprofits like the Autism Services Society, Planet Aid, Goodwill of Massachusetts, and others who provide affordable clothing for those in need.
“It’s also important to know that you can still recycle textiles even if you can’t get them to the RDF,” said Manzolini. “We work closely with the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation which offers free home pickup services for residents.” Schedule home pickups online, scan the home pickup QR code on the RDF textile bins, or call Big Brother Big Sister Foundation directly at 508-466-4590.
Reusables Area Closing & Sunday Hours
Along with traditional recycling, the RDF Reusables Area is another place to donate and collect treasures. This area is open, weather permitting, between April and December. For 2022, the Reusables area will be open through Saturday, December 3, 2022. Residents should plan ahead to drop off or pick up items.
Also, the RDF Sunday hours are ending for the season. The last day to visit the RDF on Sunday will be November 27, 2022 following the Thanksgiving holiday. Please note: The RDF will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24. Residents can stay up-to-date on all RDF activities by using the new RDF App and widget. Visit the RDF webpages to learn more.