Massachusetts Proposes Waste Ban on Textiles

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)has proposed to amend its solid waste regulations that would add textiles, as well as mattresses, to the list of materials to be banned from disposal in Massachusetts.  Textiles have been defined to mean clothing, clean footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabrics, and similar products. It is anticipated that the waste ban would go into effect October 2021.

MassDEP estimates that approximately 250,000 tons of textiles are disposed of in the trash each year. The proposed waste ban, along with supporting programs, could divert one half of this material, or 125,000 tons per year to more beneficial uses. Textile reuse and recycling options are widely available to residents and small businesses, as more than 25 businesses and non-profit organizations in Massachusetts run textile reuse or recycling operations. It is anticipated that this waste disposal ban would help support the growth of these types of operations. Collection options include drop-off donation bins for charity, curbside collection programs for reuse and/or recycling, and both formal and informal textile resale programs. Textile reuse and recycling options include re-selling or donating for second-hand apparel, manufacturing into new products such as quilts, blankets, or bags, converting into industrial wiping cloths, and recycling for uses such as insulation, carpet padding, and sound-proofing materials. Municipalities may choose to establish textile collection programs for their residents – at least one half of municipalities offer programs now and many schools collect textiles for reuse and recycling as a fundraising strategy. Some businesses may generate textiles, including textile or clothing manufacturers and hotels.

 For more information on this regulatory amendment, please contact PrUA’ s Regulatory Affairs Department at

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