Lower Mainland Return-It depots to start accepting clothing, textiles in wake of donation bin closures

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WATCH: With the disappearance of clothing donation bins for safety reasons, 13 Return-It centres in Metro Vancouver will take part in a pilot program to take clothing and household textiles. Nadia Stewart has the details – Feb 23, 2019

A new option is now available for Metro Vancouver residents looking to recycle unwanted clothing.

Encorp Pacific, the company operating Return-It depots across the Lower Mainland, launched a new pilot project Friday that will see 13 depots accept old clothing, shoes and household textiles.

READ MORE: Push to remove donation bins in B.C. gains steam following latest death

Allen Langdon, Encorp Pacific’s president and CEO, said the idea has been in the works since October 2018.

“We knew that there’s 40,000 tonnes of textiles, a lot of textiles going to landfill, so we felt there was an opportunity,” Langdon said.

Allen Langdon, Encorp Pacific's president and CEO, announces the pilot program allowing clothing and textiles at various Return-It depots Friday. Nadia Stewart/Global News
Nadia Stewart/Global News

The announcement comes about a month since clothing donation bins were pulled from communities across B.C. over concerns about safety, following a number of tragic deaths.

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Encorp is a non-profit organization. Langdon said what’s collected will be handed over to Bank and Vogue, an Ottawa-based company, who will recycle the fabrics.

READ MORE: Vancouver charity asking for help as donation bins remain out of service

“They will be distributing it to likely mostly thrift shops, and some of the material that can’t be sold in thrift shops will be cut up and used as rags and recycled in other ways,” Langdon said, adding the aim is to keep unwanted clothing out of the landfill.

Langdon said the money generated from the sale of the clothes will be used to fund the program, which is set to run until May.

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