Rochester Selectmen explore textile recycling

Sep 18, 2018

ROCHESTER - Rochester Selectmen are looking into a curbside textile pick-up that would reduce recycling contaminants by an estimated 8 to 10 percent.

Textiles are not now accepted as recyclables, but Steve Lisauskas from WasteZero presented a new option to the board on Monday night. The curbside pick-up, facilitated by a company called Simple Recycling, would cost the town nothing. Additionally, for each ton of textiles collected, the town would receive $20.

“That sounds too good to be true,” said Selectman Paul Ciaburri.

Lisauskas said more than 650,000 residents in 26 communities in Massachusetts currently use the service. The company would provide pink plastic bags for residents to put out with their trash and recycling, and then would follow the recycling pick-up to collect the bags.

For every bag that is collected, a new empty bag would be left tied to one of the bins or the mailbox.

The textiles collected are then either be given to thrift shops, or destroyed and used to make rags, carpet pads, or other goods.

Lisauskas said the program had been going well in other towns, including neighboring Middleboro.

“We’ve had little in the way of complaints,” he said.

The Selectmen liked the idea, and agreed to have the town’s attorney look over the contract and vote on it on a later date.